Did you know that you could do a lot of other things while behind the wheel aside from driving?
While law enforcement agencies are starting to buckle down on distracted drivers, the fact is, you don’t really need to be distracted enough to cause an accident to relieve yourself from the endless traffic jams that you’re bound to encounter every day.
So, while using your smartphone or tablet is a big no-no while driving, the right car stereo can supply you with plenty of entertainment.
With that said, we took our sweet time making sure that you have exactly the right kind of car stereo that you need to keep you entertained while on the road. Sure, it took us quite a bit of time to round up the list, but, in the end, it was all worth it.
Without further ado, here are some of our top recommendations for the best touch screen car stereo.
Top 5 Best Touchscreen Car Stereo
Pioneer lives up to their longstanding reputation once again with the new AVH-W4500NEX DVD receiver.
The AVH-W4500NEX is a 7-inch touch screen car stereo with a lot of functionality, as well as entertainment features. For example, it comes with a built-in Bluetooth feature for hands-free calling and for wireless streaming of music. But, that’s not all.
The AVH-W4500NEX also supports Siri® Eyes Free functionality, allowing you to use your voice to access your iPhone to make calls, listen to text messages and notifications, receive information about your next destination, as well as add reminders.
The AVH-W4500NEX isn’t just for iOS devices though. The MirrorLink system also supports an ever-growing list of Android devices, allowing you to enjoy a relatively seamless experience just by simply connecting a compatible Android smartphone to your car stereo via USB.
Other notable features include the Pandora Internet Radio so you can take full control of your Pandora account right from the car stereo itself; MIXTRAX to create your very own playlist; and finally, multiple color options to help add to the ambience of the insides of your vehicle.
- Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
- Works with wireless and wired Apple Car Play and Android Auto
- Works with SiriusXM SXV300 Tuner -- supports tune mix, traffic & weather now, and sports flash features
- Pandora Radio comes pre-installed and ready to use
- Tilt screen for adjustable viewing angles
- Optional rear-view camera
- Crisp stereo surround sound
- Relatively expensive
- Built-in GPS add-on costs a lot more than the receiver itself
From a relatively high-end car audio system, we go to one that’s more of a middle of the pack.
The Sony XAV-AX100 definitely won’t be mistaken as a high-end unit. However, it’s no slouch either. It’s no looker, but it should fit any modern car’s interior quite nicely. Plus, when it comes to features, the XAV-AX100 has most if not all of what a modern driver would like. This includes plenty of real estate in a 6.4-inch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a built-in Bluetooth receiver, as well as the ability to control your smartphone’s media playback, navigation, and contacts, all just with voice commands.
As an added bonus, the XAV-AX100 comes with a rotary dial operation. This means that you never have to take your eyes off the road to control the receiver, unlike other purely touch screen car stereos that might be too cumbersome to use without having to give it a look.
XAV-AX100 might not cater to those looking for high-end stuff, but it doesn’t need to.
By sticking to its guns and refining the essential features, Sony has created a solid performer with an efficient design that’s perfect for those looking for a no-frills touch screen car stereo.
- Voice control with Apple Car Play and Android Auto
- Control and view everything with the 6.4" touch screen.Tuner features preset:FM18/AM12
- Get powerful sound with the 4 x 55 W Dynamic Reality Amp. Audio Level Adjustment: Yes (-8 dB to +18 dB)
- Create virtual speakers on your dashboard with the Dynamic Stage Organizer
- Ergonomic rotary dial for distraction-free operation
- Perfectly designed for drivers who are always on the go and don’t need any distractions
- Rear camera compatibility
- Firmware receives regular updates from Sony
- Excellent music features
- No Time Alignment
- Annoying warning sign about driving distracted pops up every time you start your car
Forget about “less is more” here, the BOSS Audio BV9364B comes with a LOT, and we mean, A LOT of buttons.
Whereas other manufacturers go for something minimalistic, BOSS went nuts on the buttons with the BV9364B. The result? A very-busy looking interface for, at first glance, a complicated touch screen car stereo. However, if you take the time to soak it all in and understand what all of the buttons are for, the BV9364B isn’t that bad.
This is especially true once you consider its price.
At a sub $100 price point, you’d have a hard time beating what the BV9364B has to offer. This includes, among others, media playback, auxiliary input, multiple USB and SD card ports, tons of output options, as well as 80 watts x 4 Max power, as well as support for a rearview camera.
Sure, you’ll be making tons of compromises with the BV9364B, but again, don’t forget just how little you paid for it.
If all you want is touchscreen functionality at a low, low price, the BV9364B is definitely for you.
- Bluetooth - Answer/make calls and be hands-free with no distractions. The external included microphone picks up your voice and the speakers let you hear the caller. You can also play and control your music and apps like Spotify/Pandora wirelessly
- Media Playback - Watch your choice of videos through the DVD player, play music through your Bluetooth device, pop in a CD or use the USB and SD ports for more audio alternatives. Tune into the AM / FM radio stations for up to date music/news/sports
- Auxiliary - Compatible with the audio output from smartphones as well as MP3 players
- Inputs - USB charging, USB/SD, AUX, rearview camera (camera sold separately). The steering wheel interface allows you to use the existing functions on your steering wheel (interface module sold separately. We recommend the Metra ASWC-1)
- Outputs - Use the front, rear & subwoofer pre-amp outputs to hook up your speakers (Front Left/Front Right and Rear Left/Rear Right) and subwoofer. The video output allows you to connect an extra screen for more viewing capability
- All the necessities at an affordable price
- Support for Bluetooth streaming
- Voice control support
- Commendable input compatibility
- Terrible volume control
- Wireless control just has too many buttons
The thing with looking for bang-for-the-buck purchases is that it’s all relatively. Like, for example, in touch screen car stereos, what exactly is it you’re looking for?
A value purchase could literally mean anything, and it all depends on who’s buying. However, if it’s in the context of the average consume who wants an in-dish DVD player receiver with Bluetooth compatibility for both iPhones and Android devices, then JVC KW-V25BT is an easy pick as the best touch screen car stereo on our list relative to its price.
For less than $175, the KW-V25BT gives you iPhone and Android device Bluetooth compatibility, hands-free calling support, audio streaming and control, as well as voice dialing. Plus, it also comes with a 13-band graphic equalizer, a USB port, amplifier, and even a rearview camera to help minimize accidents while backing up.
Other notable features include direct linking to the tuner, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and even Spotify.
With steering wheel control-ready controls and backup memory to boot, the JVC KW-V25BT is a no-brainer of an upgrade to the stock head unit of older models.
- JVC KW-V25BT 6. 2" 2-Din Car Receiver with Monitor, Bluetooth, and Sirius XM for iPhone/Android
- JVC KW-V25BT In-Dash Receiver. CEA-2006 compliant amplifier. Power Output: . Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels. RMS: 22 watts x 4 channels. Theft-deterrent, detachable face plate: Optional Receiver Faceplate Case Available. CD text information display.
- 6. 2" WVGA Clear Resistive Touch Monitor. MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album). AM/FM tuner with 18FM/6AM presets. JVC RM-RK258 Optional Remote Control Sold Separately. JVC Remote Control App Available. Authorized Internet Dealer. 1-year Manufacturer's .
- Playback and Audio Features: CD/CD-R/RW, DVD/DVD-R/DVD-RW, MP3/WMA/AAC Playback. MP3/WMA/AAC/MPEG/FLAC Playback via USB. Compatible with Apple iPhone 6/6+ and iOS 8 software. Pandora/iHeartRadio/Spotify Control via Android and iPhone.
- 13-band graphic equalizer with Volume Link EQ (10 Preset + 1 User). 3. 5mm Front Audio Auxiliary Input. Front, Rear, Front and Rear USB Input. (8GB) SD Card reader for (audio and video) playback. 3 Sets of 2. 5V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer).
- Gives an excellent sound quality boost to factory speakers
- Excellent value for its price
- Straightforward installation
- Pairing with Apple and Android devices is easy
- Menu navigation could use a little work
- No remote control
Kenwood definitely wasn’t kidding when they said that the DDX9906XR is their top-of-the-line head unit.
With a 6.8-inch HD touch screen, the DDX9906XR gives you plenty of real estate to tap, swap, and control everything you want. This includes up to 50 separate Bluetooth devices simultaneously, or up to three different cameras, including a dash cam and an optional rear-view camera.
And, oh, just in case it wasn’t already implied by its price tag, the DDX9906XR is both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Ready.
The DX9906XR also comes with a customizable interface, and because you’re going to buy a head unit for entertainment, this one supports all the file format that you can think of, from high-rest FLAC audio files to WAV, MP3, and AAC, as well as anything in between. Plus, with the 13-band equalizer, rest assured that your audio will sound exactly the way that you want it to.
Kenwood was also nice enough to throw in a generous number of accessories along with the DX9906XR, which is all the more reason why you should buy it.
- 6.8" Capacitive Touch Screen
- Wired or Wireless CarPlay / Android Auto
- Bluetooth & WiFi Built-in
- Bluetooth Dual Phone Pairing
- R-Cam Parking Guidelines
- Seamless smartphone integration
- Adjustable electronic two or three-way crossover
- Capacitive 6.8-inch HD LCD display
- Built-in HD radio tuner
- Wired/Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Very, very, expensive!
What are the Benefits of Having the Best Touch Screen Car Stereo?
Outside of the fact that having a large screen as a receiver on your dashboard looks cool, there are plenty of benefits to investing in a quality touch screen car stereo. Like, for example, the real estate is nice to have. It allows you to pop up plenty of information right there on the screen, ready to be viewed with a quick glance even while you’re driving. Plus, the touch screen car stereos that we rounded up comes equipped with additional features, including but not limited to rear-view camera support and GPS navigation.
Other benefits of having a touch screen car stereo include:
- Safety and easy car parking
Having a rear-view camera makes backing in and out of parking spots and driveways a whole lot easier. Tight spaces will not be a problem because of the wider field of vision that you get with rear-view cameras compared to your rear-view mirror. Also, think about how much less strain your neck is going to get because you don’t have to keep on turning back, as well as left and right anymore.
Also, you can choose from plenty of cameras to pair with your touch screen car stereo for an added layer of safety and security.
For example, the Alpine HCE-C305R comes with Active View. It comes with an alert feature for any moving objects that are behind you and that are in the perimeters of your vehicle. You will have things tracked and outlined as they move across your large screened monitor. You’ll also receive audible alerts that grow in volume the closer you are to the threat. It also provides 4 different modes that guarantee you will have every angle covered. Not to mention it is a universal camera, which simply means it will work with any aftermarket receiver equipped with a camera input.
- Nice big display
What’s better than seeing two or three lines displayed on your head unit? An entire screen’s worth of information.
The larger icons, split-screen capability, and additional screen real estate add up to a better user experience. This means that, not only do touch screen car stereo head units make driving safer, they also make driving more entertaining.
Basically, everything you do with your receiver is smooth and quite less complicated once you have a large touchscreen interface mounted on your car’s dashboard.
- Bluetooth connectivity
Nowadays, Bluetooth is an essential feature that every car receiver should be equipped with. You’re a man on the go, you don’t want to miss your calls, and you don’t also want to pull over and answer your cell phone. If that’s the case, then look for a car stereo with bluetooth functionality.
Bluetooth isn’t just for calling. You can also use your smartphone to stream music to your head unit.
With a capable touch screen car stereo, you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel avoiding hefty fines or possible imprisonment for violating laws that ban handheld calls or texting while driving.
- Easy controls
What we like most about large touchscreen stereo is their user-friendly designs and intuitive controls.
Whether you’re looking for a song on your media device ,a favorite satellite radio station, or if you’re simply adjusting stereo settings, a wide, colorful touchscreen makes the process a lot more pleasant.
- HD Radio
If you have never had an HD radio, you have no idea what you have been missing. HD radios have better sound quality and on a larger screen receiver, you will see more information about what you’re listening to than on a regular stereo. You will see metadata like station logos, song, artist, and album information as well. You can even tag certain songs that you can purchase from iTunes at a later time.
HD Radio technology allows radio stations and broadcasters to transmit a high-definition digital signal.
Here are some advantages of HD radios over AM and FM radio signals:
- FM radio sounds equivalent to CD quality.
- AM radio sounds as good as today’s FM radio.
- No more breakups,crackles, hisses, or fades.
- Transmission of metadata, such as artist name,song titles,album …etc.
- Tagging a song for later purchase through the iTunes® Store.
- Dual-Zone Listening
If you have a family trip planned or if you have family members who only like certain types of music, then dual-zone capability is something that you’ll definitely enjoy. It will allow you to separate the front-seat entertainment from the rear. This means while you listen to your favorite oldies in the front, your little ones can watch Spongebob Squarepants on the monitors in back and everyone is happy.
- GPS Navigation
A better way to find out where you are going than constantly looking at your phone or calling friends. Most newer model large screened receivers have this built in but if that’s not the case with your unit, you can use an outboard unit, or connect to your smartphone app that works over 3G network.
- Factory Replacement
There are some receivers out there that are a direct replacement for your vehicle’s make and model. It is meant to replace that old boring stereo that you have been listening to for many years. The new custom fit stereos are designed to fit in unique openings in certain cars and made to look like they are factory installed. Along with their simple factory look, you get awesome additional features including built-in navigation and Bluetooth like other aftermarket receivers.
Now that you know why you should go out and buy a touch screen car stereo, as well as know some of the best on the market, we have one last word of advice: do make sure that you buy from a trusted dealer.
Where you buy the touch screen car stereo is just as important as its features.
Remember, we are dealing with electronics here. Sometimes, they break down well before they’re intended. Sometimes, it’s because they were not installed properly. Other times, it’s just because.
Buying from a good dealer with a long track record will help make sure that the touch screen car stereo is installed properly. Or, at the very least, you get proper instruction on how to install it, and will receive proper assistance if the time comes that the unit breaks within the warranty period.
With that said, good luck, have fun, and be prepared to have your daily drive changed forever with a touch screen car stereo.