Best Cheap Double DIN Car Stereos Reviews

If you’re in the market for a cheap double DIN radio then you’re in luck, as we’ve got the best budget double din head units lined up for you right here.

In the past, the term ‘best cheap double din head units’ was usually a warning rather than a tempting proposition, with shoddy build quality, sluggish performance, laughable screen resolution and woeful buttons and knobs typically featuring on such stereos.

Those days are long gone. Nowadays, the market abounds with great budget double din head units.

Sure, spending more is likely to provide you with a double DIN head unit that will keep you going without the need for upgrades for much longer. However, there’s a lot of intriguing (and cheap) stuff going on in the world of budget double din car stereos. So, if you’re new to the car audio world, or just don’t want to spend a huge chunk of cash on your new high-end double DIN head unit, then we’re here to help you get the best deal on something cheaper.

Contrary to what might seem to be the case when you step into a car audio shop, it is possible to get a great double DIN radio for under $200 – indeed we’ve reviewed cheaper double din car stereos from as little as $120 and been really impressed.

Without further adieu, here are the best budget double din head units you need to buy in 2018.

Not worried about the cost? Check out our best double din head unit list.

Cheap Double DIN Head Units Reviews

#1- Pioneer AVH-290BT Review

Pioneer AVH-290BT double DIN car stereo review

Pioneer is the go-to brand for quality car audio components. They’ve been in business for quite a long time and have mastered the art of providing top-notch products.

Pioneer offers a wide range of different types of double DIN head units. Their double DIN head units are very well-made and seem to be well-liked.

The AVH-290BT is one of the best cheap double din car stereo that Pioneer has to offer, all things considered. This car stereo is featured with a nice, user-friendly 6.2” touchscreen that will make your life a lot easier while driving.

This head unit is also featured with Bluetooth connectivity. So, you can pick up your calls with the touch of a button and enjoy easy wireless access to the media(podcasts, news, or streaming playlists) on your smartphone.

If you enjoy your music from other sources, you’ll be happy to know that this receiver has an aux input, USB Direct Control for iPod/iPhone, as well as CD and DVD playback. Speaking of which, you can watch DVDs when the parking brake is engaged, or send the video output an external monitor, such as an overhead or a rear headrest monitor (if you have any) so your passengers can enjoy some video entertainment when you’re driving on a long trip. Furthermore, you can add a rear-view camera for easy parking in crowded parking lots or when pulling out of your garage.

The AVH-290BT is fitted with a relatively powerful built-in MOSFET amplifier with a versatile five stored equalizer curves – Powerful, Natural, Vocal, Super Bass, Flat – which you can easily recall at any time. There are two extra modes which will allow you to manually adjust the level (+/- 12dB) of each band of the head unit’s 5-band graphic equalizer (100, 315, 1.25k, 3.15k, & 8k Hz).

The head unit also provides further sound adjustments for your car audio system including a loudness function which compensates for deficiencies in the low- and high-frequency ranges at low volume, a bass boost which allows you increase the subwoofer level from 0 to +6 (12dB), and a source level adjustment (SLA) which is meant to prevent radical changes in volume when switching between sources.

All in all, Pioneer AVH-290BT is one of the best double din head units under $200 that you can buy. It’ll breath a new life into your car sound system. It’s easy to use, sounds great, and it’s loaded with bells and whistles.

As for cons, it’s really difficult to think of any. If anything, I’d say that you can not change the background on this receiver, which could be a bit annoying to some of you.

#2- Kenwood DDX416BT Review

Kenwood DDX-416BT double DIN head unit review

Kenwood has a well-deserved reputation for building great car audio products at reasonable prices. It’s well-known for its expansive catalog of car stereos, covering just about every possible use at fairly affordable prices. So, whether you’re looking for a mechless car stereo (aka: digital media receiver), single DIN head unit or a double din head unit with a touch screen, Kenwood has got you covered.

In this corner, we’ll be looking for at one of the most budget-friendly double din car stereos that Kenwood has to offer – the DDX-416BT which could be a great investment for anyone who’s on a budget and looking for a good double din head unit that packs in all the necessary bells and whistles but still remains affordable.

The DDX416BT by Kenwood is one of the top rated cheap double DIN car stereos out there. This receiver is very well put-together. At less than $200, it’s not outrageous – and if you’re looking for a slightly better double DIN radio than the stock radio, the DDX416BT could be a great option to consider. It’s one of the best double DIN car stereos at this price point.

Kenwood DDX416BT is featured with a wide 6.2inch touchscreen that’s very convenient to use while driving. And as with most, if not all new car receivers, the DDX416BT is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calling and wireless music streaming. This receiver also supports “dual phone pairing” for full time connection of two smartphone devices at the same time.

In addition to AM/FM tuner, CD/DVD player, front USB port, the DDX-416BT is also SiriusXM ready. You add SiriusXM tuner to this double DIN stereo to enjoy listening to commercial-free music, sports, exclusive talk and entertainment, and more !

Unlike the Pioneer headunit we linked to above, this kenwood receiver allows you to customize its background. This means you can use your favorite image as a background.

And to better fine tune the sound to match your musical taste, this double DIN car stereo boasts 13-Band EQ and digital time alignment to finely tunes the music to your listening position. It also sports three sets of preamp outputs, so you can expand your car sound system with a powerful amplifier or a powered subwoofer.

If I had to pick some criticisms for this receiver, I’d say that its screen washes out when in direct sunlight which makes it barely visible to the eye. Additionally, this receiver doesn’t come with aux input.

#3- Pioneer AVH-1300NEX Review

Pioneer AVH-1300NEX double din car stereo reviewIf you’re looking for a cheap double DIN car stereo with Apple Carplay, then Pioneer AVH-1300NEX is a good options to consider. It’s one of the cheapest apple carplay stereos in the market.

We’ve come across a ton of double DIN car stereos which promise smartphone compatibility and smooth integration into today’s connected lifestyle, but Pioneer car stereos always smokes the competition and consistently deliver a seamless experience.

Pioneer AVH-1300NEX features a bright 6.2″ VGA touchscreen display with plenty of display customization options. The menu on this receiver is quite easy to navigate through. You can set your home screen to display your favorite sources, so you can easily switch between them with just a single touch when you’re driving.

The AVH-1330NEX is ready to roll with wireless audio streaming and hands-free calling with your compatible handset. This headunit is capable of wirelessly streaming and controlling music from up to five different phones. Plus, with a compatible iPhone, you can take advantage of Siri Eyes Free to place calls, switch radio stations, hear notifications, add reminders — even compose and listen to text messages.

In addition to Apple CarPlay, the AVH-1300NEX includes Pioneer’s AppRadio Mode+ which provides additional flexibility when your iPhone is attached, letting you tap into apps like Waze for navigation, and providing easy access to some video content through AppRadioLIVE.

Furthermore, if you like using streaming services, you’ll be happy to know that this receiver supports Pandora and Spotify control with iPhone and Android. Just connect your smartphone via USB or Bluetooth and you’re all set.

The AVH-1300NEX is SiriusXM-Ready™. So, if you’re a road warrior, and you want to listen to your favorite stations wherever you go, wherever you are, then you might want to consider tapping into the variety of satellite radio with an optional SiriusXM tuner.

The AVH-1300NEX has a rear-mounted USB port, a rear-mounted aux-in jack, as well as AV and rearview camera inputs. It comes with four 4-volt preamp outputs for use with an outboard amp, as well as a built-in 50-watt-by-4 amp. There’s high-pass/low-pass crossover network, and subwoofer control.

To tailor the listening experience to your vehicle and listening preferences, the AVH-1300NEX features a 13-Band Graphic Equalizer with touch panel swipe settings, built-in high/low pass crossover network, listening-position selector, speaker output adjustment, advanced sound retriever, speaker time alignment, and more.

#4- JVC KW-V140BT Review

JVC KW-V140BT Double DIN car receiver reviewJVC is another top-rated car stereo brand. They were founded in 1927 and they make virtually everything in the consumer electronics world, from televisions to camcorders and car audio components.

JVC offers a wide variety of car stereos including single DIN car receivers, double DIN radios with/without touchscreen and digital media receivers.

The KW-V140BT is one of the best double din head unit under $200 that JVC has to offer. This multimedia receiver features 6.2″ WVGA clear resistive touch monitor. Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free talking and wireless audio streaming. This head unit also supports “dual phone full-time pairing”, which let’s you connect two phones full time via Bluetooth. Calls to either phone can be received by a push of a key on the head unit. Additionally, this receiver also allows you to connect up to 5 Bluetooth devices simultaneously, so you and your friends can take turns streaming music.

As far as sound optimization is concerned, Kenwood KW-V140BT is featured with 13-Band Equalizer so you can manually adjust the sound to your taste, K2 technology which significantly improves sound quality, and time alignment which allows you to digitally adjust the timing of the sound output from each of the speakers so that every speaker reaches your ears at the same time. This headunit also has a volume link EQ which boosts some specific frequencies to compensate for the impact of road noise.

With this JVC headunit, you can also listen to Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify from your smartphone with smooth control on the headunit via USB or Bluetooth connection for iPhone, and via Bluetooth for Android handsets.

Additionally, you can use “JVC Remote” app which is available for both iOS and Android to directly control the receiver’s source from your smartphone using simple finger gestures.

#5- Pioneer FH-X730BS Review

best double din head unit under $100 If a large touchscreen is not on your list of requirements when searching for a double DIN receiver, then Pioneer FH-X730BS might be a good option to consider. It’s one of the best cheap double din radios that you can get your hands on. Pioneer has really packed a ton of great features into this low cost head unit.

Pioneer FH-X730BS is designed to be a high-grade replacement to factory radios. It’s equipped with all the necessary features that will make your life easier while driving including Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calling and wireless audio streaming, SiriusXM capabilities, Pandora® and Spotify, as well as smooth smartphone integration.

This receiver is featured with an easy to use interface with MIXTRAX technology, which adds visual and audible effects to USB-based music sources for uninterrupted entertainment as you drive. That said, you’ll enjoy a pulsating multi-color display that’s synchronized with your tunes, in addition to DJ-style audio transitions from song to song which is going to liven up the audio experience in your ride.

Additionally, and as far as sound shaping controls are concerned, Pioneer FH-X730BS sports 13-band EQ with seven preset tone settings, 3-level loudness, advanced sound retriever (ASR) for improved sound quality from compressed music files, low-pass and high-pass filters and subwoofer level control. It also has three pairs of preamp outputs so you can build a rocking sound system with external amps and subwoofers.

#6- Alpine CDE-W265BT Review

Alpine CDE-W265BT double din radio reviewAlpine is another well-recognized brands in the car audio industry. They were founded in 1967, and they’ve been churning out various quality car audio components ever since.

Alpine offers a wide range of components including speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, navigation systems, drive assist equipment, you name it. Alpine also offers a variety of car stereos for different purposes.

The CDE-W265BT is one of Alpine’s best budget-friendly double din car stereos. This receiver is very well-engineered and it’s loaded with a ton of features.

As with all new headunits that hit the market in the last couple of years, the CDE-W265BT has a built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free calling and audio streaming.

Despite being a double DIN head unit (4″ tall”), the Alpine CDE-W265BT has only a two-line display with variable color illumination which justifies its relatively low price tag. However, this display is pretty easy to read and doesn’t wash out in bright daylight.

This unit features a single disc player, front-panel minijack (3.5mm) auxiliary input and USB Input. It’s also equipped with 6 channel preamp outputs and a built-in 2-way and 3-way crossover system setup for greater flexibility with various speaker system configurations.

Additionally, and as far as audio tunning controls are concerned, the Alpine CDE-W265BT receiver sports 10 typical equalizer settings, a 9-Band Parametric EQ, and Alpine’s Bass Engine SQ. The latter is a new feature that’s meant to change bass sound characteristics by automatically adjusting different combinations of EQ, Sub Level, and Crossover settings through five bass modes (Standard, Punch, Rich, Mid Bass, and Low Bass). This can only be done through Alpine’s TuneIt app which is available for both Android and IOS devices.

Alex Brown

Hey There, my name is Alex Brown, I'm a music lover and a car audio enthusiast who loves everything from new receivers to car security. I've been in this industry for years now. I enjoy creating solutions and simplifying everyday needs. My passion for music came at an early age. I love helping people get great sounding gear, thereby, saving the world from bad sound one customer at a time.

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