More Things You Should Know About Double DIN Head Units
What are flagship model double DINs? :
Most of these are what we describe as a flagship model, which means it’s the marquee offering from that particular brand, for that particular period of time. These are the head units where manufacturers don’t pull any punches. It’s a chance to show off their latest technology to consumers who are looking for the very best.
Flagship models will often allow you to easily add a tuner for SiriusXM, to connect 1 or 2 cameras, to control Bluetooth features with your voice, to connect Apple Carplay and Android Auto (however some work better than others).
Sometimes, they’ll have support for FLAC and other premium audio formats. You’ll often be able to stream from your favorite music apps like Spotify and Pandora.
Most of the aforementioned head units have most of these features, even if we didn’t list all of them for each and every deck. We focused on highlighting the features that each deck excels at the most, to make it easier to choose one based on your priorities.
What about some of the budget brands out there? :
There are some brands out there selling head units for surprisingly low prices. These are always brands that nobody has heard of it, and even if the specs seem similar, the quality just isn’t there.
We’re talking about the BEST double dins today, and it’s expensive to make a top-quality flagship stereo. Some of the biggest brands in the world of audio are fighting neck-to-neck, and always trying to leapfrog the competition with incremental improvements. It’s just not fathomable for a no-name brand to come out of nowhere and sell anything even remotely similar for a fraction of the cost.
By sticking to leading brands like Sony, Pioneer, Alpine, and Kenwood you’re going to have reputable support if you run into any issues. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
There are too many horror stories of people using these off-brand stereos and running into all sorts of trouble. If you’re looking to spend a bit less, you can still find some decent lower-cost and mid-tier options from reputable brands (like the Pioneer MVH-1400NEX that managed to squeak it’s way onto this list as a value pick). You may miss out on some of the fancier features here and there, but it’ll be worth it to go with a reliable brand.
Will my steering wheel controls still work?
This depends on your vehicle, and compatibility with the deck you choose, but for the most part you can keep your steering wheel controls, you’ll just need an extra wiring kit.
What if your head unit controls things like climate, how your door locks work, etc?
Things get a little more tricky when we look at modern vehicles, because the head unit controls a lot more than just the stereo. In these cases, you can make things easier for yourself by choosing a head unit that supports an iDatalink Maestro, which will help you keep all of your vehicle’s functionality, even when the stock head unit has been replaced.
Final Thoughts :
Getting an aftermarket head unit is one of the best upgrades you can make to your car’s audio, and beyond that, they take care of a lot more than just sound these days. This is your interface to your vehicle, and your connection to the world.
It bridges the gap between your phone and your car. When you’re already putting in the work to research and build your car stereo system, why not opt for a flagship head unit to complement it?
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