Car Stereo Head Unit Buying Guide

Equipping your ride with the latest music technology has been en vogue since the radio first found its way into cars. If you're shopping for the best car stereo head unit for your car, then this buying guide will help you make an informed decision.

Types of Car Stereo Head Units

Before you make a purchase, it's wise to take a look at the different types of car stereo head units that are available today.

Digital Media Car Stereos

These car stereo head units are the most popular today. They usually offer digitally colored text and back light depending on the style that you choose. These car stereo units come with USB ports, Bluetooth capabilities and audio input/output jacks. If you prefer to listen to music from your iPod or other similar device, simply hook it up to this car stereo head unit through on of those ports or capabilities and you're good to go!

Digital media car stereos usually offer CD/DVD options as well. If you still enjoy listening to CDs, there are many that are made to play them. However, if you've moved on beyond the CD realm, there are digital media car stereo head units that are only designed to play digital forms of music that come from iPod devices, Bluetooth and so on. They don't have a CD option.

Car CD/MP3 Players

These are the car stereo head units that play CDs and MP3s. They usually have the same design as that of the digital media car head units with the colorful, digital displays and fancy buttons. However, these are purely devoted to CDs and MP3s.

However, many of them also have the audio input/output jacks that allow for MP3 players and iPods to connect with.

It really depends on the brand and type of car stereo head unit that determines what playing options are available.

Pay Attention to

When you're shopping for the best car stereo head unit for your vehicle, there are a few things to pay attention to. Let's take a look at them.

Power Output per Channel

For music lovers, this is a big detail to pay attention to. Car stereo enthusiasts will love the high power output per channel on the units. Most units feature certain amount of watts per channel so they can drive even the most dynamic and powerful stereo system speakers. With a certain amount of watts per channel, you don't have to worry about your tweeters only twirping. Instead, your woofers and tweeters will boom with a beat.

Audio Input/Output for USB and Bluetooth

If you are inseparable from your music playing device, then it's crucial to ensure that you choose a car stereo unit that will play your audio devices. Look for a USB port or a Bluetooth capability.


It's important to determine whether the head unit will fit into your dash. Examine your car dash carefully. There are some vehicles that simply don't support the addition of a car stereo head unit. Many times, it's due to the design of the car dash. If you're unsure about it, have your local car stereo system mechanic examine it. It's always better to be safe than sorry.


Finally, you need to be familiar with the average prices for your desired type of car stereo head unit. If you know the different brands that are available, that'll help you to look into the many price options. Find your specific budget and get to searching for the best car stereo head unit for you!

Top Brands and Product Lines

There are several popular brands for car stereo head units. We are going to share with you the most desired brands in the car stereo business. People prefer the brands listed below. Remember to check them out when you start shopping.


Pioneer is, well, a pioneer in the electronic music field! The company was founded in 1938 with the art of producing great audio speakers. For years, they've been a steady and popular brand for customers that purchase car stereo systems. Their prices are affordable and their quality isn't compromised.


The JVC company has been around since 1927. They were founded in Japan and over the decades, their brand has been printed on entertainment electronics such as cassette tape players to speakers to televisions. They also have a great reputation for producing wonderful car stereo systems. Like Pioneer, you can find a great quality car stereo unit that's within your budget.

Kenwood USA

Kenwood USA has been around since 1961 after it was created from the Japan version of the company. For years, they've produced wonderful entertainment electronics from two-way radio systems to car stereo systems. They also offer car stereo head units that are available for any budget. Check them out.

We hope that this guide for help you to make an informed decision while you shop for the best car stereo head unit for your vehicle. Take a look at the types, brands and details and then compare to your specific needs. You'll be good to go! Happy Shopping!