best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

8 Best Apple CarPlay Stereo of Year 2020

In today’s world, the majority of people have access to the internet. But we still struggle with connectivity. We need better connectivity to access our personal data across diverse platforms. Apple CarPlay is such a medium to connect to your car using your Apple devices. This article is featuring all the best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020 that we think would be great for you if you want to integrate Apple compatibility in your vehicle.  

With best Apple CarPlay stereo heads you can integrate your messages, iTunes, phone calls, navigation and much more. This helps you in accessing most of Apple features without investing in a completely new stereo. Many aftermarket stereo manufacturers have come up with effective solutions for designing the head units since Apple CarPlay debuted in 2014 and this article will focus all those best Apple CarPlay stereo head units that you can purchase but before buying you should check below points. 

Things toLook for in Apple CarPlay Stereo Head Unit

There are majorly three aspects to it before buying any of the best Apple CarPlay Stereo which we will be discussing below:

(i) Kind of receiver

There are many types of receiving feature offered in a best Apple CarPlay stereo head units. For example Bluetooth, HDMI, USB and a disk player. So, it’s important for you to choose the one most suitable for you. If you still love disks, it’s important to have one with a DVD receiver. The new models come with the facility of audio and video playback and with touch functionality.

(ii) Features

Most of these best Apple CarPlay stereo units allow the comfort of connecting to external subwoofers and amps, and also to HD and satellite radio tuners. It’s also better to buy one with touch screen compatibility. The most preferred unit is the one with both Bluetooth and wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity.

(iii) Single DIN or Double DIN Unit:

These are the two most common Apple CarPlay stereo head unit sizes available. The single DIN units measure about 2×8 inches whereas double-DIN measures about 4×8 inches. A double DIN unit comes with many smart features to add to your car stereo. This doesn’t mean that you’ll lack connectivity in a single DIN unit but you will have limited choices.

Though there are hundreds of best Apple CarPlay stereo available out there, we recommend you to buy from trusted brands for longevity. All you have to do is to get any one of the best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020 that we have hand picked for you.

The Best Apple CarPlay Stereo of Year 2020

1. Alpine iLX-F309TCM HALO9 – Best Apple CarPlay Stereo 2020

Alpine is also one of the best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020 that has options to integrate both with iOS and Android. It’s a floating display type and pops out from the dash. So it really gives a cool look when you have a glance at it. This best Apple CarPlay stereo head unit boots up with the Alpine logo just as any other brands these days and takes a second to organize. Once it’s done, all the apps fire up quickly and smoothly. 

This is one of the best Apple CarPlay stereos that consists of a 9” capacitive touch screen and comes with plenty of entertainment options. It also comes with the iDataLink Maestro module which helps you to retain features such as steering wheel controls and vehicle cluster sub-display. This Apple CarPlay stereo comes with audio of 18 watts RMS whereas most of the aftermarket units come with 14 watts. Though the 4 watts difference might seem a lot, trust us it is. This product lets you get specific about your sound taste. Moreover, it fits in Din ISO dash kits perfectly, thanks to its standard DIN single chassis design.

The unit also has a rearview camera which is of huge benefit to display the distance guideline information. You can also create custom shortcuts to access them without any hassle, by adding them to your favourite functions. 

There’s plenty of room for height and angle adjustment too. It also supports an HDMI input so that you can watch HD content on the screen. The built-in HD radio tuner provides song title, art, and station information.

Pros:

  1. The rearview camera makes it easier to display the distance guidelines,
  2. It features a 9” capacitive touch screen and smooth display,
  3. You get a dedicated HDMI input,
  4. Ability to add your favourite functions to shortcuts for better accessibility,
  5. It can be used with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. 

Cons:

  1. CD and DVD player is not included,
  2. For some of the customers, it might be expensive.

best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

2. Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX – Best Apple CarPlay Stere0 with Double Din Radio and Navigation

This product is one of the best in the lineup of Pioneer and this is why included in our list of best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020. Pioneer is by far known for its output and durability. The Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX is a flagship stereo model and has finally been upgraded to its full potential. The major difference between 8200NEX and 8201NEX is that the later used only an additional backup camera.

This digital multimedia player includes the modern-day 7 inches capacitive touch screen and has no room for DVD drivers. It not only a great display but Pioneer has also motorized the WVGA capacitive screen. The major difference between our first recommendation and this product is that it has a built-in navigation system that will guide you in every turn and to every necessary point such as a fuel station or a restaurant.

This helps you to avoid bad network issues while travelling across the country and save some battery life. If you also use an Android device, just plug it in via USB and you’ll have access to your phone on the screen. You will also receive a charge to your phone by connecting to the USB port.

To provide you with the best user experience and coverage services, Pioneer has partnered with Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc. Thanks to Naviextras features, the maps will continue to update themselves on the go. The units’ navigation system is integrated with HERE; this means that it has the complete location data for Canada and the US in its database.

With a screen resolution of 800×480 pixels, the capacitive screen is of good use. The touch responsiveness plus the gesture control such as the swipes on the map and pinch in/out works well. The graphic EQ has a few preset profiles such as powerful, natural and vocal. All these features definitely makes this one the best Apple CarPlay stereo head units of year 2020. 

Tip: In order to connect to regular Bluetooth usage after being connected to Apple Carplay or Android Auto, you will have to clear the units’ Bluetooth memory and also forget the unit on your phones Bluetooth device list.

Pros:

  1. It supports Bluetooth hands-free calling,
  2. Compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,
  3. The stereo comes with Naviextra features to support continuous map updates,
  4. Traffic live updates are also available,
  5. The WVGA capacitive touch screen has good clarity,
  6. The HERE map database support allows you to navigate effortlessly through US and Canada.

Cons:

  1. The stereo doesn’t include a built-in amplifier,
  2. The graphic interface might not suit everybody’s taste. 

best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

3. Alpine iLX-107 – 7″ Mech-less-In-Dash Receiver with Wireless Apple CarPlay

This award-winning product is a great choice being offered by Alpine. It is one of the most suitable best Apple CarPlay stereo head units as it can simultaneously display turn by turn directions while navigating with Apple Maps and text message alerts. You can easily access this feature even without removing your iPhone out of your pocket or bag.

This best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020 consists of 7” VGA capacitive touch screen, Maestro iDataLink Module and Alpine iLX-107 which work perfectly with wireless CarPlay and connects to the stereo without any wires. If you don’t want to connect wirelessly, you can also connect your phone with a cable to connect to it. The 9-band parametric EQ helps you to adjust the frequencies to a higher level as desired.

If you notice, there is a dedicated SIRI feature that makes it more likeable to sell as the Apple CarPlay utilizes the voice-controlled SIRI that is specifically designed for driving. There is also a camera (composite) input so that you can also get a custom Alpine rearview camera to get benefited from it.

In order to connect to most of these best Apple CarPlay stereos, you need to bring your vehicle to nearly a standstill position. But this is not the case here. You can seamlessly connect your vehicles touch screen without having to stop anywhere.

It is also highly beneficial while using Apple Maps. It gives you turn by turn directions, live traffic condition and estimated travel time so that you are never late to work. For your convenience, it also displays the 3D view of the traffic conditions.

It is Steering wheel control ready so that you have to never take off your eyes from the road and can answer the call by pressing a button on the steering wheel.

Pros:

  1. It comes with a 9-band parametric EQ,
  2. It is compatible with Alpine Tunelt App for iPhone,
  3. You can view live traffic conditions, 3D view and alert of your text messages,
  4. You can connect to the stereo by using a cable or wirelessly,
  5. The 7-inch capacitive display is used Tunelt App,
  6. It comes with MediaXpander. 

Cons:

  1. Slightly overpriced,
  2. It might take time to recognize your iPhone initially.

4. Pioneer AVH-3400NEX – 7″ Display Single-Din In-Dash NEX DVD Reciever

If you are tight on money, don’t look any further than this. It hosts a WVGA display with a resolution of 800×480. The screen is also motorized. This means that you can change the orientation of the unit as you wish. It goes beyond this; it stores the previous angle memory and sets itself to the same when turned ON. 

The stereo unit comes with built-in Bluetooth. This helps you to answer phone calls and reply to text messages without worrying to take your eyes off the road and look at your phone. Moreover, you can audio stream on your cars stereo with Bluetooth’s help.

Pioneer AVH-3400NEX also comes with a built-in amplifier and comprises of a CD and DVD receiver. So if you still love your disks, this is a great option to go for. The 7-inch display screen is equipped with a flip-out mechanism and has an aspect ratio of 16:9. The amplifier can power up to four separate channels and has a peak of CEA-2006, supported by RMS.

The stereo is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well. So you need not worry about using other smartphones as well. This is one of the best Apple CarPlay stereos that comes equipped with voice control as well, making it agile and safe to use on a busy road.

This best Apple CarPlay stereo head unit comes with tones of display customization features and offers five different display colours with 112 key colours. There’s a brightness control feature that allows you to dim the brightness for a comfortable night drive.

In terms of Audio, this best stereo head unit for Apple CarPlay hosts a 13-band customizable graphic equalizer. The stereo also supports Back-up camera view so that you know what’s behind your car when you park. If in case you do not want to connect wirelessly, you can connect with the help of a USB cable by plugging it in at the back.

Pros:

  1. It has both CD and DVD receiver equipped with an amplifier by RMS,
  2. The motorized screen allows you to orient the screen as per your desire,
  3. It comes with an aspect ratio of 16:9,
  4. It supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto,
  5. Empowers you by making calls and receiving texts without taking your eyes of the road,
  6. The display comes with many customizable options,
  7. It is equipped with a 13-band graphic equalizer.

Cons:

  1. Its size might be a bit bigger for small cars,
  2. The product needs a few updates relevant to 2020.

best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

5. Kenwood DMX7704S – 2-Din Best Apple CarPlay Stereo Head Unit with HD Radio

This stereo by Kenwood is a double-DIN CarPlay stereo and definitely deserves a mention in our list of best Apple CarPlay stereo head units of year 2020. This best Apple CarPlay stereo head unit has a 6.95 inch wide VGA colour liquid crystal display (LCD). The display can be touch-controlled and is a clear resistive panel. Moreover, it comes with a built-in HD radio too.

The stereo keys are illuminated and can be varied based on your preference. This helps you to access the keys in dark as well without struggling around. It is the small details that make a great product. This is no less. This is one of the best Apple CarPlay stereo also boasts LED backlight, giving the stereo a longer lifetime and a bang for your buck. Another advantage is that less heat is generated within the heads unit and the components are not prone to heat-related malfunction or damage.

This is top Apple CarPlay head unit that comes with two camera inputs, one for the dash and the other for a rear-view camera. The dash camera makes your daily commute more reliable and safe. To make the most out of this feature, it’s better that you buy Kenwood’s DRV-520 dash camera.

This best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020 is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple Carplay as well. This will help you to switch between the two easily. You can also connect to your iPod by using a USB direct connection with the help of KCA-IP102 or KCA-IP103 cable wire for music and KCA-IP202 for both music and video.

It also comes with OEM Remote Control Interface for better accessibility. It can seamlessly connect for two phones simultaneously. It comes with ample features such as iDataLink, Android rapid charge technology, Automatic memory entry, 13-band Graphic EQ and tonne of other features.

The most likeable feature is that it comes with Multi-language menu and Tag; this supports up to 21 different languages. The last but not the least, it is Siri, Pandora and Spotify App ready. This makes it absolutely a steal for the music and podcast listeners.

Pros:

  1. It comes with an LCD panel and has LED backlighting,
  2. The built-in Bluetooth allows you to connect two phones at the same time,
  3. The stereo is factory compatible with Siri, Spotify, Pandora Apps,
  4. It has built-in HD radio,
  5. Compatible with two RCA video inputs,
  6. It comes with an OEM Remote Control Interface.

Cons:

  1. Sometimes the audio cuts in and out. So you will have to pause for a few seconds and start it again.
  2. No onscreen bar to show song progress and a time counter.

best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

6. Sony XAV-AX100 – Best Apple CarPlay Head Unit with Bluetooth

The best budget Apple CarPlay stereo by Sony! If you are willing to pay $530 for a price to value product, this is a blind buy. Sony is by far one of the top reliable brands out there for the best audio quality output. This best Apple CarPlay stereo head unit is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you are someone who compares the products before buying, you will find a perfect balance between features and price, and ergonomics.

It comes with a 6.4-inch touch screen display. With a quick tap, you can bring up maps, iMessages, and music playlist and make phone calls. The display is responsive and Sony’s software has always been trouble-free. The only thing that you will have to compromise upon is its graphic capabilities.

The stereo comes factory set with a radio tuner with preset frequencies for FM18/AM12. The ergonomic rotor dial helps in many purposes such as to adjust volume, access sound control menu and a long press to access voice command. Speaking of sound control, it comes with 10-band graphic EQ so that you can boost or cut ten different frequencies to be able to hear what you want to.

Thanks to its powerful sound output of 4×55 Watts and audio adjustment levels ranging from -8 to +18 dB, you can make adjustments as you wish. The Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) recalibrates the frequency output of speakers in the doors and makes you feel as if music sound is coming from speakers on your dashboard- Just Sony!

No other brands offer such minute details to audio output at this price range. Also, the three pre-outs can be used to connect to a subwoofer and an amplifier to enhance your experience. The reverse-cameras video pops up on the screen when you put your vehicle in reverse gear or tap the reverse camera icon. All these features makes it one of the best Apple CarPlay stereos of year 2020. 

Pros:

  1. The 6.4-inch in-dash display is big enough for you to easily notice the icons and has good responsiveness,
  2. It comes with a powerful sound output of 4×55 Watts,
  3. The DSO enhances your music output from door speakers,
  4. The 10-band graphic EQ allows you to listen to what you want to,
  5. The ergonomic rotary dial is easy to use and doesn’t require you to take your eyes off the road,
  6. You can use Siri voice commands to reply to a message, control music playback or take directions.

Cons:

  1. The graphical representations might not be up to the mark considering it to be a budget option- this can easily be looked upon,
  2. It doesn’t feature an HD radio.

best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

7. Kenwood DNX995S – 6.75″ Navigation Best Apple CarPlay Stereo Head Unit

Kenwood is a Japanese company and always produces a good quality product. They provide lots of tweaks and control over speakers. The stereo comes with a 6.75-inch HD touch screen with a high resolution of 1280×720 pixels and is an electrostatic capacitive touch screen display. This best Apple CarPlay stereo is a double-DIN stereo and also hosts a CD or DVD receiver.

The headliner of this product is the built-in Garmin navigation system. This best Apple CarPlay head unit comes with two years of free subscription. The navigation system is equipped with many features such as text-to-speech, voice prompts, lane assistance with junction view and many more. These will make your daily commute not only easier but also less time consuming with the help of live traffic updates. Also, maps of the US, Canada, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands are also integrated into the system with regular updates.

The built-in Bluetooth empowers you by connecting to the car’s stereo effortlessly. This helps you for hands-free calling and controlling music playback. Hence, you can keep your eyes on the road without worrying about any accidents. It also comes with a built-in HD Radio, to make that long country rides memorable. The receiving frequency is set to 1575.42MHz.

The Kenwood DNX995S is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with Waze pre-installed. You also get a free front and rear camera, the former being 8MP and the later 13MP.

Now let’s speak about the main feature. This best Apple CarPlay stereo head unit also comes with a built-in Wi-Fi system. With its help, you can access YouTube and Yelp through WebLink. It also supports Siri Eyes-free control for selective iPhone range. The stereo is equipped with 13-band graphic EQ and Bass boost technology.

Pros:

  1. The High Definition touch screen produces sharp content with less reflection,
  2. You not only get a radio but also a front and rearview camera,
  3. The radio comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi,
  4. Overall good features including the DSP settings,
  5. It works perfectly with large capacity drives too.

Cons:

  1. The bootup time is slower than the competition,
  2. While shifting between the cameras, it sometimes gets stuck and the front camera doesn’t shut off automatically. Though this can be fixed in a software update.

best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

8. Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX – 7″ Touchscreen with HD Camera Backup and Magnetic Phone Holder

Just like any other Pioneer radios, this is one of the best Apple CarPlay stereo also gets the job done perfectly. The LCD touch screen is 7 inches and is motorized. With this you can turn in up or down but not right or left, to avoid glare. The display is also detachable. It comes with a little black pouch so that you can carry the face with you. This also comes with HD Camera backup feature and magnetic phone holder. These things also makes it one of the best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020. 

This double DIN head unit can connect up to two devices at a time via built-in Bluetooth. So, you can assign one phone to music and/or the other to phone calls. Isn’t it interesting? With the AVH-W4500NEX you can enjoy the supreme sound quality and complete control over Pandora. Simply download the Pandora Radio App and connect your iPhone wirelessly to the stereo and you are good to go. It has also got built-in Wi-Fi!

This best Apple CarPlay stereo also comes with a built-in amplifier too that passes the standards of CEA 2006. The 13-band graphic EQ with touch panel settings empowers you to tailor your listening experiences with the built-in high/low convertor. In order to autotune, you will need the CD-MC20 microphone which is sold separately.

Do you want to enjoy your high-res audio files on your CD or DVD player? Don’t worry! You can now enjoy FLAC files without even having the need to convert. It supports FLAC playback up to 192 KHz/24-bit.

You can also connect to the radio using a USB cable. The connection establishes clean and crystal clear sound while charging your device at 1.5 Amps simultaneously. Last but not the least, the user interface is also what matters the most. The advanced NEX features intuitive, powerful and responsive touch screen interface and is highly customizable.

This feature enables butter-smooth wireless connectivity, audio streaming and hands-free calling. One of the most desirable features is that NEX allows you to access the media stored on your mobile using AVRCP 1.6 profile.

Pros:

  1. It features both built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to ease your commute,
  2. It comes with 14 watts RMS internal amplifier,
  3. It is Siri eyes-free compatible,
  4. The NEX technology produces natural sound and facilitates a great amount of customization choices,
  5. Compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Cons:

  1. The USB Port might not last longer than a year and a half.

best apple carplay stereo head units 2020

The most important features in these best Apple CarPlay stereo of year 2020 are the OS integration, built-in amplifier and Bluetooth, Display, Car nativity and remote control. These determine the mark of the most suitable Apple CarPlay stereo for an individual. Make sure that you find your own from the above list of best Apple CarPlay Stereo of year 2020 and let us know your choice in the comments below.

author
iProMagz Team
Editor

We are a team of Apple enthusiasts and diligent writers having an experience of 10 years of working in the same field. Gadgets from Apple are the ones that we are always curious to know about, use and check out. Sharing our experience with you all has brought us here.

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