As more vehicles come with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, you do not have to buy a new car Get these excellent in-dash systems. There are some great aftermarket devices ̵
Key Features of Aftermarket Car Radio
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have revolutionized car stereos in recent years. When automakers build a new car, the car stereo's features are generally carved in stone. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto always provide support for new and updated applications. For example, with iOS 13, Apple has added a new split-screen layout that greatly improves usability. Every car radio with Apple CarPlay received this change for free!
Several automakers now support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you do not, you can get this technology by replacing your factory stereo with a retrofit stereo. However, before deciding on this new head unit, take a look at the following key features:
- Wireless Support : Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were originally a wired affair, but the wireless version of these two technologies is becoming ever newer Default. When paired with in-car wireless charging stations, connecting to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is as easy as getting into the car and taking the phone off!
- Speaker Boost Performance : Most aftermarket stereos offer a much higher gain than your factory headset. If you want adequate volume for your speakers, you need at least 20 watts (RMS). If you do not intend to add a speaker amplifier to your rig, such as a Kicker Key 180.4 or an Alpine KTP-445U, you must pay attention to the available amplifier power.
- HD Radio / Sirius XM support : These days Most aftermarket stereos support Sirius XM. HD radio is a bit rarer. This is unfortunate because HD radio is a great way to stream high-resolution digital music over the radio waves.
- Capacitive Touchscreen : Older and less advanced receivers use something that requires resistive touchscreens, where you have to perform long and hard moves on the screen. Capacitive touchscreens (like those on your phone) are far superior to resistive touchscreens, making them a non-optional requirement for a good car radio system today.
- Reversing Camera / Dashcam Support Rear or Dash cameras are growing in the car stereo segment. Most aftermarket receivers now support two or even three camera inputs. If your existing car radio displays a reversing camera when reversing, this is the minimum functionality required for your replacement device.
- Comprehensive Equalizer / Crossover Support : The ability to tune in to achieve what you love to hear can not be overstated. It's not good enough just to adjust the bass and treble. Tuning the crossover frequencies for each speaker set (front, rear, and subwoofer) results in cleaner overall sound and extends the life of your speakers by instructing each speaker to reproduce the frequencies for which it is designed.  Line Out Preamp Connections : Three pairs (6 channels) of preamplifier line-outs (front, rear, and subwoofer) are now also a prerequisite. All good recipients have them. You should question the purchase if the recipient you are evaluating does not – or, as you know, simply avoid altogether.
- Steering Wheel Assist : Most modern cars come with steering wheel-steered controls days. You will lose comfort if your aftermarket receiver is unable to control the functions of the stereo with these controls. The most common interface solution is the iDatalink Maestro device. You will be looking for iDatalink support for each receiver that may replace your factory-made main unit.
- Bluetooth Dual-Phone Pairing : Virtually every modern car radio can be paired with a mobile phone via Bluetooth. Some of the better stereos can be paired with two mobiles, so you can either make a phone call or answer a call while your stereo system seamlessly switches between the two phones.
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The Kenwood Excelon series of car radios is renowned for its high-quality features such as increased gain, better preamp outputs, and an extensive list of advanced features. The DMX906 meets this paradigm with outstanding features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a customizable widget-based user interface, comprehensive 13-band EQ and 3-way crossover controls, HD radio, and Bluetooth support for two phones.
Kenwood offers standard features such as SiriusXM wireless support and three pairs of preamplifier line-outs. IDatalink Maestro support has been enhanced to provide additional vehicle diagnostics such as engine speed and tire pressure. The DMX906S features a capacitive 6.95-inch touch screen and offers 22 watts (RMS) x 4 channels. This is sufficient to operate almost all front and rear door speakers without additional amplification.
Kenwood DMX906S 6.95 "Digital Media Touchscreen Receiver
The Kenwood DMX906S offers an incredible list of features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless, customizable interface and Bluetooth support for two phones To find the best stereo receiver for your car.
Featured Tip: Alpine ILX-W650
The Alpine ILX-W650 features a capacitive 7-inch touchscreen and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (cable only) in a lower priced package The ILX-W650 is more than 15 cm deep and available at an extremely low price, making it the ideal device to replace extremely flimsy factory-made devices and offering a standard feature list Support for iDatalink Maestro, 6-channel el-preamp outputs, SiriusXM wireless support, and custom EQ control.
If you do not use Replacing a flat-mount unit, the ILX-W650 virtually challenges you to bolt a Alpine KTA-450 mini-amplifier on the back (a supported configuration) for a total depth of less than 5 inches while 50 watts (RMS) per channel x 4 channels are pressed. In fact, the KTA-450 comes with the bracket you need to accomplish this. Better yet, if this is your desired configuration, you can buy an ILX-W650 / KTA-450 combo that will save you a few bucks.
Best DVD Receiver: Pioneer AVH-2550NEX
If you want to insert a DVD and send videos to the kids in the backseat, the Pioneer AVH-2550NEX just right for you. This device features a highly responsive 6.8-inch capacitive touch screen, customizable display and button colors, and an external remote control.
While DVD playback is the outstanding feature of this unit, the AVH-2550NEX also convinces with Apple Carpay. Android Auto, HD Radio, SiriusXM support, enhanced iDatalink Maestro support, including vehicle diagnostics, 13-band graphic equalizer, support for high and low pass filters, and 6-channel pre-amp outputs. However, this unit only transmits 14 watts of RMS x 4 channels. So, if you try to improve the volume or reduce the distortion, you may need an extra amplifier to control the front and rear speakers.
Best Single DIN / 9-Inch Display Receiver: Alpine Halo9 ILX-F309
We are experiencing a paradigm shift to larger displays in premium vehicles , If you're looking for something bigger than a standard double DIN touch screen, the Alpine Halo9 ILX-F309 is for you! The receiver housing needs only one DIN area, but has a large capacitive 9-inch touchscreen that seems to float right in front of your dashboard. The screen is fixed to the receiver, but offers flexible up, down, and tilt positioning options.
In addition to the beautiful touch screen, the Halo9 ILX-F309 supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD Radio and supports SiriusXM. It also features a parametric 9-band EQ, high and low pass filters, 6-channel preamp outputs and support for the enhanced iDatalink Maestro, which includes vehicle diagnostics. This device has an additional outstanding feature, as it is compatible with an optional accessory controller that manages up to eight additional devices such as winches, LED lights, suspension kits and electric duvets. The gain is slightly bright at 18 watts (RMS) x 4 channels, so adding an additional amp can be helpful if you need a little more sound.