Nowadays, it is unimaginable to take the road without being equipped with a car stereo on board your vehicle. A stereo system is a basic accessory for cars because you will find hi-tech accessories like dash cams and car vacuum cleaners present in today’s cars as well. A car stereo system is a device that offers many advantages that will always be the same, regardless of the model you choose. But many car stereos today offer more advanced features that will help you optimize your driving comfort a little more. Finding the best car stereo can be a bit tricky as there are so many options available today, but you can make it easy upon yourself by checking out consumer reports best car stereo reviews followed by an in-depth buying guide.

Reviewing 5 Best Car Stereo Systems

1. BOSS Audio Systems 616UAB Multimedia Car Stereo

consumer reports best car stereo

With this stereo receiver, you won’t just enjoy the thumping sound of your favorite songs, but can also certainly enhance the appearance of your car. It features a dimmable illumination for buttons and LCD display, added mute function, and dancing LED lights. The inclusion of Bluetooth will allow you to make hands-free calls or answer the calls without any issue. There is a built-in microphone as well, which picks up the voice, and combined with your car speakers, you’d be able to hear the person on the other side. You can also play and control songs and apps like Pandora or Spotify wirelessly.

You can play music via a Bluetooth device or connect a pen drive to the USB port. The car stereo supports AM/FM radio stations for news, music, sports, and more. The device is compatible with audio output from Mp3 players as well as smartphones. You can connect your speakers to the front and rear pre-amp outputs of the car stereo without any issue. The stereo delivers 50 watts x 4 max power to deliver excellent power to the speakers. But, make sure to add an amplifier to the mix for better sound quality. You can easily customize the audio quality in this car stereo using wireless remote control. The company provides 3-year platinum online dealer warranty that covers all manufacturing defects.

2. Double Din Car Stereo Radio Voice Control Apple Carplay & Android Auto

consumer reports best car stereo

Have a look at this car stereo, which boasts a premium-quality voice control that efficiently picks up your voice clearly, leading to an enhanced listening experience. You can play and control different music apps and make calls hands-free. You can easily change songs from the touchscreen or with your steering wheel controls. The car stereo features a 7-inch HD capacitive touch screen that works just like your smartphone. It supports 1080p video playback and you can easily access the display and all the controls even while driving the car. As far as compatibility is concerned, then this car stereo supports Android Auto apps, Apple CarPlay, music, GPS, email notification, and more.

It also features a rear-view backup camera with night vision, which has a viewing angle of 170 degrees. When you shift the gear in reverse, the system powers on the camera automatically for better visibility irrespective of the weather conditions. The car stereo also features FM/AM, USB/AUX port, music, and video player. The company provides a 30-day money-back guarantee along with a 12-month replacement on the product, which gives a sense of confidence to the customers.

3. ATOTO F7 XE 7inch Double-DIN Car Stereo Receiver

consumer reports best car stereo

This is a double DIN car stereo that supports both wired and wireless Android Auto and CarPlay along with a wired mirror link for iOS and Android. The car stereo also comes with a built-in dedicated charging protocol, which means you can charge your phone battery while running Android Auto/CarPlay. The car stereo also features a 10-band equalizer with 7 presets, which is combined with a Bass filter and time correction to give you an excellent audio experience. The inclusion of Bluetooth 5.0 supports multiple formats for hands-free calling and audio streaming.

The car stereo also comes with online GPS navigation that runs both Google Maps and iOS Maps, which you can see on the full-HD screen of the car stereo. There is a 720P front camera and rear camera inputs to let you access the rear view even if your car is moving ahead, thanks to its 178-degree full-viewing angle. There are video outputs to watch videos on the monitors attached to the seat’s headrest, AM/FM tuner, and OEM steering wheel control functions. The car stereo also features 2 USB ports and 1 SD slot that supports an SD card of up to 512 GB.

4. JVC KD-T910BTS Car Stereo With Bluetooth

consumer reports best car stereo

JVC brings to you a highly powerful car stereo, which comes with 2-line vertical alignment LCD panels and AM/FM tuner. With the LCD panels, you get a wider viewing angle and better visibility. The car stereo also has a USB port for charging your smartphone and is Amazon Alexa Compatible. The presence of built-in Bluetooth for effortless audio streaming and hands-free calling.

It can be paired with a wide range of music apps such as Spotify Internet radio control with Android and iPhone, Pandora, Streaming DJ feature allows music streaming playback and you can control it from a maximum of 5 smartphones paired with it. The car stereo also comes with a 13-band equalizer that features digital time alignment and K2 technology for better digital sound for a wide range of music sources. As far as inputs are concerned, then the car stereo comes with a front-panel USB port and aux input, whereas for outputs, it has a 2-channel preamp output.

5. Pioneer MVH-S322BT Audio Digital Media Receiver

consumer reports best car stereo

Last on the list is a stylish car stereo from Pioneer, which is designed to support smartphones. You can sync it with Amazon Alexa to control the car stereo with a voice command. Use this app to access a wide range of wired or wireless devices with ease. The receiver of the device comes with a built-in amplifier and also incorporates 3 RCA pre-outs of 4V each. The car stereo features a 13-band customizable graphic equalizer, which can be increased to 31 bands using Pioneer Smart Sync.

The crossover network for the receiver works only in 'Standard’ mode. Other features of the car stereo include Apple CarPlay, Wired Android Auto, Pioneer Smart Sync App with Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and Pandora via Bluetooth. It also features USB direct control for iPhones and more.

How To Choose Your Car Stereo?

Verified or not, user reviews can be interesting benchmarks. However, do not take them as the only compasses to orient you towards the car radio station adapted to your conveniences. There is a methodical approach so as not to regret its acquisition. Here it is in three points.

Make a list of features you need in a car stereo system

Start by looking at the features of your car's audio system. The challenge attached to this approach? Quite simply to guarantee perfect harmony between the new equipment and the components of the current audio system configuration. The amp, speakers and car stereo must match in terms of power and impedance. If you mount a car radio that outputs an 8-ohm impedance for 4-ohm speakers, disaster will strike as soon as the connection is tested. The same goes for the applications you want to use via the radio. This initial clarification remains unavoidable.

Important Features To Consider:

Once you have completed this step, inspect different models, keeping in mind the key characteristics selected. Your choice will be on the device whose features meet the criteria you have set. On the other hand, certain indications will have to hold your attention. Those are:

  • DIN: This characteristic provides information on the size of the car stereo; it indicates whether it is compatible with the passenger compartment. The 1-DIN, still simply DIN, indicates small car stereos. The 2-DIN, or double DIN, more and more often equipped with an imposing screen that reaches 7 inches, offers more functionalities.
  • Does the device accept CDs or not? The option to insert CDs and DVDs is no longer as popular as before, some models have chosen to do without the reader. If you want one, make sure that the desired model is a CD car stereo.
  • Does your car have steering wheel controls as standard? If so, be sure to choose a model that can use them.
  • The appropriate amplification: power, number of channels, the possibility of bass optimization;
  • Supported audio formats: MP3, FLAC, ACC, WMA, WAV, etc.;
  • Embedded technologies: systems (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay), Bluetooth function (telephony and/or audio streaming), GPS navigation, etc.;
  • Connectivity components: pre-amp output, auxiliary input, HDMI output, USB port, etc.

How To Install A Car Stereo?

For most models, installing a car stereo does not require special knowledge or a considerable number of tools. To dismantle the old equipment and place the new car stereo, you will need to have two rigid iron wires arranged in a U-shape as an extractor. Introduce them through the free passages surrounding the post and pull them. With the device outdoors, disconnect the electrical connections holding the antenna and the clips.

Then proceed to the assembly of the new car stereo unit by performing the same steps in the opposite direction. Secure the connections first, then insert the stereo. As soon as you hear a click for each of the connections, the operation is successful. All that remains is to start using your new equipment.

How To Use Your Car Stereo?

The only way to learn how to use your car stereo is to use it. There are not thirty-six solutions. Reading a large volume would not help you in any way as to the different manipulations to be carried out to enjoy the radio. However, it is still necessary to carefully read the station's user manual. This manual will tell you how to turn the radio on, how to turn it off, and how to activate its features. The more you use the station, the more control you will have.

Final Verdict

So, that was all about car stereo systems. Now, it is up to you decide as to which car stereo you need to buy because all are excellent and feature a wide range of features. So, pick a product from consumer reports best car stereo reviews and place your order today!

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