How to Choose the Best Double DIN Head Unit

by | Last updated Sep 30, 2020 | Stereos | 0 comments

Are you on a quest to find the best double din  head unit?

Well, your search ends right here. We’ve got you covered with the names of the best double din head units available in the market complete with double din head units reviews to back them up.

See the Top Rated Double Din Head Units – Click Here

We know that with all double head units available in the market today, such a quest can be daunting (  more on that below ), that’s the reason we’ve taken the initiative to make this buying guide for you so you would be making your choice from only the top rated double din head units..

Here are our recommendations

Clarion CX201

Clarion is a Japanese manufacturer of car audio and automotive navigation systems. They are one of the most authoritative brands in mobile electronics industry. They have been in business for more than 70 years, and their products reflect their passion and commitment to excellence.

Clarion CX201

Clarion is addressing the growing 2-DIN market demand by offering a few great models featuring larger displays and control buttons & switches for an OEM integration look.

The unit linked to above offers an OE (original equipment) fit with the newest refinements and features including a large 2-line display with screensaver and demo mode, 6 large buttons and a 4 Channel MOS-FET power amplifier. It’s ergonomic design provides great control while driving.

Clarion CX models have a great-looking ,new sleek cosmetic design with convenient front panel inputs for plugging in a Dock & Play satellite radio, an USB storage device, an MP3 player or any other portable audio player. The CX201 stereo will also play CDs loaded with MP3 or WMA files.

The CX201 stereo comes with two sets of preamp outputs giving you extra flexibility and more control over your amps and subs. The built-in low-pass filter lets you control and adjust the type of your bass, while a high-pass filter trims the extreme low frequencies out of your speakers so they can play more efficiently.

Other Features

  • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner.
  • Built-in amplifier (21 watts RMS peak x 4 channels).
  • Remote control.
  • SIRIUS satellite radio.
  • Outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (2 volts front, rear/sub).

Pioneer FH-X700BT

Pioneer is a Japanese multinational corporation that has been specializing in all sorts of digital entertainment products since 1937.they have mastered the art of providing customers products conforming to the highest standard in terms of quality and comfort at an affordable price.

Pioneer FH-X700BT
The Pioneer FH-X700BT is one of the best double din head units on the market.Most forums agree. We personally think it’s the best, all things considered.Most importantly, this head unit comes with an exclusive “Illumination” system that provides over 210,000 colors to match the Pioneer’s display to your vehicle’s dash , as well as a pulsating multi-color display (MIXTRAX) that’s synchronized with your tunes, which will result in a touch of glamour and elegance added to your vehicle’s interior, and make it look as great as it sounds.And that’s what we love most about it this head unit.

The Pioneer FH-X700BT boasts some great features including an excellent built-in Bluetooth® connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming. It will make your life easier as you can easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to this headunit without having to enter pin codes or go through complicated settings. The head unit automatically detects the registered device in close proximity and pairs it to the unit.

Furthermore,the FH-X700BT features an In-dash control for Pandora which is compatible with IOS apple devices. If you have an Apple device (Iphone,Ipod Touch …) you can simply download the free Pandora Radio app,connect your device to your headunit, and take your music to the next level. Otherwise,you can simply use your front-panel USB input to enjoy the music stored on your device.

The Pioneer FH-X700BT showed a very good set of advantages and great features which makes it stand out above all the rest available in the market. Furthermore, when 388 people recommend it, you cannot simply ignore the fact that it’s actually a good head unit. Vital factors and lots of excellent customer reviews on the other hand have convinced us that this double din head unit is really the best one out there!

Other Features

  • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner.
  • Built-in MOSFET amplifier .
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming.
  • Pandora control through iPhone
  • Remote control
  • Low-pass and high-pass filters
  • 5-band equalizer with seven preset tone settings

Pioneer FH-X700BT In-Dash Double DIN CD/MP3/USB Car Stereo Receiver w/ Bluetooth, Pandora Link, MIXTRAX & iPod Support
  • Built-In Bluetooth for Hands-Free Calling and Wireless Audio Streaming
  • Voice Control for iPhone
  • Enjoy Your Favorite Music in a Non-Stop Mix with MIXTRAX
  • 2 RCA Preouts (2V)

Kenwood DPX500BT

If you don’t want to get sucked into flat,boring sound that your factory stereo delivers,and want to breathe a new life into your sound system instead, Kenwood DPX500BT ought to be high on your list. This head unit boasts some great features that make it a forerunner among other head units in this category. Its sturdy design provides great control while driving. Ergonomically speaking, it’s really well-conceived.

Kenwood DPX500BT
Kenwood DPX500BT comes with plenty of features. It has such as a large single line screen, Bluetooth® connectivity for hands-free phone calls and wireless music streaming. It also has a very cool entertainment options (We will get into that later on).

This receiver’s built-in Bluetooth promotes safe driving by detecting and pairing registered phones in close proximity to the receiver, allowing you to have a hands-free conversation while you are driving.You can also set your head unit to automatically pick up incoming calls.For outgoing calls you can either use your smartphone’s voice dialing (if supported) or you can dial out by scrolling through your phonebook’s contact list on the display.Additionally,the head unit can notify you when you receive an email or text message on your phone.

Furthermore,You can enjoy and stream music wirelessly from just about any device that supports Bluetooth connectivity.

When it comes to power and performance, this product holds up extremely well with its built-in MOSFET amplifier which can put out up to 88 Watts RMS Power.In addition, you have a full 3 sets of 2.5V preamp outputs for adding amplifiers and subs.

Drivers who have used the Kenwood DPX500BT double din stereo on their vehicles are in a better position to talk about the head unit’s performance. Having tested it in real life circumstances,their experiences and feedback with the head unit are invaluable and they are saying some really nice things about it.Furthermore,when many people recommend this unit,then you can be quite confident that its truly worth it and it makes a good product.

Other Features

  • Built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Pandora control with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry
  • App Mode
  • Steering wheel audio controls compatibility
  • Outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs

Types of Head Units

Before you go online or to the stores to embark on your quest for a double din head unit, there are some things you need to be aware of. You’ve already read a few reviews of what’s deemed to be the best double din head unit in the market. Next in line is to know the different types of double din head units.

The two main types of head units are :

Single DIN car stereos :
  •  They’re the standard car stereo size. The dimensions of a single DIN car stereo slot is 2-1/8” (50mm) height by 7-1/8” (180mm) width. If your vehicle is equipped with a single din head unit, it’s usually not possible to upgrade to a double din head unit. Double DIN head units aren’t necessarily better than single DIN head units.The main pros of double DIN head units is typically in the display. If that’s what you’re seeking,you can stop worrying, there are some great single DIN head units that feature retractable or flip-out wide-screen touch display. In your quest for a double din head unit,it’s important to remember one crucial fact: choosing one form factor over the other really boils down to personal preferences.
Double DIN car stereos :
  • The second most common car stereo slot size is the double din stereo.These are typically twice as tall as the standard single din slots.Most of these double din stereo feature a built-in screen touch display as small as 3.5″ or as large as over 7″.If your vehicle is equipped with a double din head unit, then you have more flexibility to upgrade or replace it with an aftermarket double din stereo. The downgrade is also possible but it’s not recommended, it’s usually done using a mounting bracket kit.Downgrading from double din car stereo to a single din head unit will leave you with some available space on your dash which can be used as a storage compartment or to host additional components such as a graphic equalizer.

Which head unit fits my car – Single DIN and Double DIN ?

That’s an easy question to answer,and it’s actually pretty easy to figure out what you need. If your car has a single din head unit, the front faceplate should measure about 7 x 2 Inch, and you have to replace it with another single DIN unit. However,if it came with a double DIN head unit,the frontplate will be twice as tall as the standard single din (about 7 x 4 inch – 180 x 100mm ), and you have the choice of replacing it either with a single or a double DIN car stereo. There is also a “1.5 DIN” size that falls in between, but it is rarely used.

>>Click here to see prices, specs and reviews of double din head units<<

Double Din Head Unit –  What to Look For

Head units come in two varieties: double DIN and single DIN. We’re not going to get into the debate about which is better; they both clearly work, and it really boils down to personal preference.

With so many head units reviews on different models, brands and types out there, it is natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. Making the wrong decision could cost you time, money , and could even lower you sound system’s performance. So before you spend your money,make sure that you are getting what you pay for!

There are various points you need to be aware of when you are considering purchasing a head unit. In some situations , some of these points will be more important than others. In no particular order, they are:


For audio enthusiasts, power is one of the most important factors to be taken into consideration when building a car audio system. To put it simply,the more power you have , the better the sound, especially when you’re powering a component speaker system. High-end systems have more power,which allows the speakers to reach high volume levels with less distortion. Audiophiles seeking big bass,louder and distortion free sound, usually build their sound system in a way that bypasses the built-in head unit amp mainly using RCA line outputs ,and use external amplifier for maximum results. Head unit’s power output is indicated in two ways, peak power and RMS power. Peak power refers to the maximum power output that a given head unit can put out in a short period of time. RMS on the other hand is an accurate and reliable indication of a system’s performance, it indicates the maximum power sustainable on a continuous basis. A high power head unit will usually have enough juice to moderately drive up to four speakers,but for a high-end car audio system with multiple component speakers and subwoofers, you’ll certainly need to add an outboard amplifier. A good strategy when you’re just starting out (and you are on a budget) is to build your car audio system piecemeal. In the very first place you’ll need to find a head unit that has a good built-in amp and RCA line outputs, and use it to power your front and rear speakers. That will allow you to enjoy good sound right off the bat,while maintaining the ability to to drop an outboard amplifier into the mix down the road.


Your head unit is the part of your sound system that you’ll use and intract with to control your entire sound system on a daily basis. That’s the reason why you should choose a head unit that feels good to you. A user-friendly head unit can be operated without becoming too much a distraction for drivers. Furthermore, since many models in the same price tag are similar in terms of features and sound quality, usability is often the deciding factor between models.

Pre-Amp Outputs

Preamp output refers to the signal before it’s been amplified. These outputs are a pretty common feature on most head units.Some head units are equipped with multiple preamp outputs, up to three, which allows you to easily hook up more than one amplifier, which means you can adjust the levels of multiple amplifiers right from the head unit.
Pre-amp output are a must in any serious head unit. They allow you to drive an amplifier (or equalizer or crossover…) directly without the need for any conversion adapter. It’s always recommended to opt for a head unit with multiple outputs (keep in mind future expansion).
If your head unit is not equipped with a pre-amp level outputs, you’ll need to buy an adapter which will convert your speaker level outputs to line level

Theft Protection

Detachable head units are the most common theft prevention procedures today. The are two types, fully detachable and partially detachable. Fully detachable procedure consists of removing the whole head unit leaving behind a blank panel, whereas a partially detachable procedure leaves some features on the head unit but the head unit is still useless without its detached face. Some manufacturers went the extra step and came up with a new twist which consists of flipping the face around when the engine stops,so the headunit is completely hidden.

Additional Features

There are a number of other additional features you might want to be aware of or take into consideration before purchasing you headunit. Some of these are vital to future extension of your sound system, like preamp outputs, and others will be immediately useful. These features include but not limited to : Bluetooth,Steering wheel controls,Remote control, Switchable illumination, Auxiliary inputs.

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