9 of the best car stereo options for your daily commute
Radio is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world.
Every day, we rely on our favorite broadcasts when we’re working out at the gym, relaxing on a lunch break, or performing our morning routines. One of the most common places to listen to radio is in the car.
While the last thing you want from the best car stereo, is something that’s going to distract you and pull your attention away from the road, you do need a device that’s easy to read.
When you’re driving at night, a well-illuminated device can ensure that you don’t have to squint at your dashboard. This KW-R940BTS gives you stress-free access to your music with a large 2-line display.
Thanks to integrated Bluetooth technology, you can stream your music or answer calls with the touch of a button.
There’s also a USB and aux-in, so you can choose to access your own music in a wide selection of ways.
The USB connection in this car stereo can also charge your devices, so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice on the go.
Digital media receiver
Built-in iPod control
Sound-shaping EQ tools
Digital time alignment
The multi-colored lighting effects on this device are more of a novelty than anything else, but we liked how easy it was to see the dashboard in the dark.
The futuristic aesthetic of the car stereo also helps with upgrading the overall appearance of your car.
One downside is that it can be difficult for your device to read your content at times. Also, the EQ functionality can take some getting used to.
Another contender on our list of the best car stereos available right now is the JVC KD-X260BT.
This digital media receiver doesn’t come with a CD player, like many of the stereos around today. Fortunately, it does offer various excellent ways to listen to music and radio channels.
For instance, you can connect through Bluetooth 3.0, or use the aux-in cable or USB connection.
There’s a 13-band graphic equalizer included, and a microphone, so you can take hands-free calls when you’re in your car.
There’s also the option to link a Bluetooth headset for easier private conversations too.
One of the more advanced features in this JVC car stereo is the A2DP technology. With advanced audio distribution, you get a better quality of sound from any device or radio station.
Features of the JVC KD-X260BT include:
Music syncing effect
1-year manufacturer’s warranty
MP3 playback through aux-in and USB
Bluetooth version 3.0
Hands-free phone connections
A2DP for better audio quality
Phone book access
Sleek and convenient, the JVC is one of the better car stereo options on the market.
On the other hand, for its price tag, it’s a surprise that it doesn’t include some more common features, like a CD player or smart assistant access. This device doesn’t work with the latest Apple phones.
The best car stereo is often the one that allows you to listen to all of your favorite music and shows without any unnecessary hassle.
For today’s modern listeners, that often means choosing something that offers AM/FM radio, as well as Bluetooth streaming, and CD playing functionality.
Pioneer is one of the best car stereo brands out there, offering reliability and versatility.
The DEH-S5100BT is an all-in-one car stereo, that includes FLAC file playback functionality for USB devices, and built-in Bluetooth for streaming and hands-free calling.
There’s AM/FM tuning, and a CD player included, so you can still enjoy all of your CD collection.
Another fun feature of the Pioneer is that you can customize the colors of the backlit panel.
You will get features like:
Works with Spotify and Pandora
Smart app with navigation support
Although the Pioneer DEH-S5100BT isn’t the cheapest car stereo we’ve seen, it has a lot to offer with the price, including excellent Bluetooth, and an easy-to-use app. The app allows you to bring your messages, maps, and music into your car at the touch of a button.
Unfortunately, there’s no memory for the Bluetooth connection, which means you need to pair every time.
The Dasaita 10-inch might be one of the best car radios on the market, but it’s also one of the more expensive options we’ve seen so far.
This state-of-the-art system comes with a 10-inch rotatable screen, so you can ensure it fits perfectly into a wide selection of vehicles.
This product should fit any car with a double DIN slot. There’s a built-in DSP and 15-band equalizer to help enhance the quality of your music, no matter what you’re listening to.
Intended to make managing music, navigation, and more as easy as possible, the Dasaita comes with Android 9.0 and 4GB of Ram. Its quad-core processor means that the device operates with lightning speed and provides a crystal-clear display.
Aside from FM radio and Bluetooth streaming, you’ll also have access to hands-free calling, and Bluetooth streaming.
It’s easy to get caught up focusing on things like budget and feature sets. After all, you want to get the most value for your money. Your budget, however, is just one factor to think about when buying something new for your car.
Here are some of the other points we recommend looking at when you’re deciding which stereo might be right for you:
Music options: You know that you want AM/FM radio access, but what else would you like? Products like the Dasaita 10-inch come with HD video output, USB support, and Bluetooth streaming too. Other options could include looking for a stereo with a CD player built-in. Even if there’s no Bluetooth or streaming, you can still play your own music via aux cable with many devices.
Design: There are many different kinds of car stereo out there, from double DIN to more basic single options. It’s best to measure your car stereo and ensure that the device you’re buying is going to be compatible with your car. The last thing you want is to spend hundreds of dollars for something that doesn’t work.
Extra features: Bonus features on a car radio might include things like rear-view cameras for safer driving. That’s one of the extras that comes with the SARCCH radio. You might also want something like a built-in microphone and Alexa compatibility. A built-in mic means that you can make hands-free calls. Smart speaker functionality allows for easy control of your music without asking you to look away from the road.
Sound quality: Sound quality is always an important concern when choosing a radio. Whether you’re investing in something for your car or your living room, you want it to sound great. Ensure that you’ve got a good power output from your stereo to begin with. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to volume. You can also check the audio drivers included with the stereo for an insight into sound.
Simplicity: All radios should be easy to use. It’s particularly important to make sure that your radio isn’t complicated if you’re going to be using it mid-drive. You need something that you can change the volume or radio channel on in seconds. A robust design that’s easy for anyone to use is crucial.
Investing in the best car radio
The best car radios come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
For some people, the best car stereo will be something classical, like the Pioneer DEH-S5100BT.
This device can play virtually any kind of music, including your CD collection. What’s more, the fantastic price means that this device will suit a wider range of budgets.
If you’re looking for advanced audio, then the ADPT technology in the JVC KD-X260BT is a great choice. Although this device doesn’t have its own CD player, it does have a strong Bluetooth connection.
You can also play your music through USB port or aux-in.
If you really want the best stereo that money can buy, we’d recommend the Dasaita 10-inch.
This state-of-the-art product fits in many different calls, and comes with HD video, as well as audio.
There’s a fantastic multi-functional screen that supports front and reverse cameras. You’ll also have access to Bluetooth connectivity, and GPS too!
Good luck getting the best buy car stereo for your needs. Check out some of our other reviews here at Radio Fidelity for even more handy insights.
Just so you know… This article contains affiliate links. The commission we earn helps to cover our costs, and comes at no additional cost to you. For more information on our affiliate program, please refer to our disclosure policy.