Table of Contents
- View The Best Android Auto Head Unit Below
- 1. Pioneer AVH-2300NEX Multimedia DVD Receiver
- 2. Alpine iLX-W650 Receiver
- 3. Yakalla Head Unit Car Stereo Audio Systems
- 4. ATOTO A6 Android Car Navigation Stereo
- 5. Pioneer AVH-2400NEX Touchscreen Double Din Car Stereo Receiver
- 6. Binize Android 2 Din Car Stereo Radio Multimedia Player
- 7. COREHAN Double Din Android Car Stereo
- 8. Binize Android Touch Screen Multimedia Radio
- 9. BOSS Audio BVCP9685A Car Multimedia Player
- 10. Sony XAVV10BT Media Receiver with Bluetooth
- Android Head Unit Buyer’s Guide
When you are searching for a new head unit, and you have an Android phone, finding the best Android Auto head unit, you can get might be particularly essential for you to. Having Android Auto linked to your car means you are less likely to be distracted by your phone while driving.
What is Android Auto?
Android Auto is Android’s approach to connecting your phone into your car and making it much safer to use on the road by putting everything on a more prominent display than your phone can show. Such things like maps are easier to see and allowing things such as hands-free calling and texting. This is so you don’t look at your phone and turn your attention away from the road. This is not only dangerous but also illegal in many parts of the world. Instead, you can connect to your car and use hands-free methods by connecting either via Bluetooth. In some cars, the USB ports.
If it helps you to think of it this way, where Apple has Apple CarPlay, Android has Android Auto.
The main features of Android Auto are Google Assistant (when you say “Okay Google…”), navigation (Google Maps), communication (hands-free texting, calling, Whatsapp, and so on), and entertainment (Spotify, radio, other apps).
Of course, to use the Android Auto feature, you will need an Android cell phone.
What are Head Units?
Head units are what most of us just call the stereo or the radio. On a new car, the likelihood is that the head unit will be called an infotainment system.
In the past, these head units could simply be called “a radio” because that is all they were – an AM, or eventually an FM too, receiver that translated radio waves into sound at the speaker systems of cars. Over time though, these radios developed in complexity and what they could do, mirroring developments in speaker components and general electrical technology and understanding.
Eventually, cassette players (and in the early 2000s, CD players) were added to the “radio.” Volume controls became the norm, along with more advanced controls, such as changing the levels of treble and bass output. It became standard to have radio station “presets” in your car. All this has developed over time into what we have today, where no new car feels complete without not only a radio, but also Bluetooth connectivity, a satellite navigation system, aux cord input, USB ports, hands-free capabilities, and much more.
Nowadays, it is so much more than a radio, with all the features mentioned above seen in almost every new car, and more – for this reason, it is no longer called a “radio”. Customers will by now be used to seeing the phrase “infotainment system”, but in technical terms, these pieces of equipment are called “head units”.
Below, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best Android Auto head unit products we could find, along with a buyer’s guide to help you decide which might be best for you. We hope you find this guide useful.
View The Best Android Auto Head Unit Below
1. Pioneer AVH-2300NEX Multimedia DVD Receiver
This Pionerr Android Auto head unit is the product we have selected as the best you can get your hands on in the current market. It features a simple-to-use touch screen with a DVD receiver, a 7-inch display screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, microphone, and more. All in all, you can connect your phone to this advanced Pioneer head unit (the one we have selected as the best Android Auto head unit) for great practicality and safe driving.
Customers report great things about this Pioneer unit. Although you should know that the Pioneer AVH-2300NEX is known to be a little slow occasionally, its value more than makes up for this. Pioneer products are often slightly more advanced and tricky to install than other head units on the market, but there’s no harm in learning!
+ 7-inch touch screen display
+ Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
+ microphone with good reviews
Why We Liked It – We selected this product from Pioneer as the best android auto head unit you can get. The Pioneer AVH-2300NEX provides a good mix of affordability and practicality, both of which make it very worth looking into.
2. Alpine iLX-W650 Receiver
For premium quality, we have turned to Alpine, a company well known for producing high quality automotive audio products.
The Alpine iLX-W650 has a shallow mount chassis design that is 2-13/16″ deep. It also features a 7-inch touchscreen display and is designed to work with the KTA-450 power pack amplifier, also from Alpine.
All in all, this Android Auto head unit provides a quality, subtle appearance, but one that is more than capable. It’s all about being efficient at its job, rather than overly flashy or complicated, and that’s what we feel is of the highest importance as you look for a new Android Auto head unit.
+ 7-inch touchscreen display
+ shallow mount chassis design
+ designed to work with the Alpine KTA-450 amplifier
+ Android Auto
Why We Liked It – In our opinion, this is the best Android Auto head unit in terms of quality. As we stated in the description, it’s not really about the visual appearance of a flashy gadget but is like a reliable friend who just sits down and gets the job done correctly.
3. Yakalla Head Unit Car Stereo Audio Systems
Although it technically doesn’t support Android Auto, you can still connect your Android phone to this head unit, provided it runs on Android 9.0 or earlier.
This Yakalla head unit is all about value. That means you are going to be trading off some quality compared to the higher-priced items. However, if all you need is a quick, cheap new head unit, this one is definitely worth looking at.
You can do all the standard stuff with this head unit. It features 2 video outputs and 1 video input, 2 audio outputs, and 1 reverse input. It also comes with a rearview camera and wiring harness, something that many of the higher-priced units tend not to have.
+ you can connect with Bluetooth 4.0
+ reversing camera
+ 2.17 inches mounting depth
+ great value
Why We Liked It – We liked this head unit and chose it as the best head unit you can get in terms of value. Although you won’t be getting futuristic, Iron Man-style processing speeds from this one, if all you need is something to play you some music from your phone or a temporary quick fix, this could be the unit for you.
This head unit from ATOTO features buttons rather than a touch screen. Although this might seem like old-fashioned technology nowadays, there are a couple of notable advantages when using physical buttons rather than virtual ones:
Focus – when you are driving, you shouldn’t use your center console at all; but, if you do, when using a touch screen, you have to completely remove your eyes from the road to see what it is that you’re pressing – there is no other way to do it. However, if you have physical buttons on your system, it is easier to get familiar with the unit and know instinctively where all the buttons are, meaning you can press them without taking your eyes off the road so much.
Reliability – of course, this depends on the quality of production of whatever unit you get to some extent, but in general, a physical button is reliable for many, many repeat uses. Some touch screens, however, become slow and faulty quicker than others – you only need to think about old cell phones to picture that.
You can connect to this ATOTO A6 head unit with your Android phone using Bluetooth. It also has an external WiFi antenna to reduce signal interference as well as provide an internet connection.
It is possible to purchase a wireless steering wheel controller to attach to your steering wheel, making it even easier and safer to use. This piece of kit allows you to play and pause music, skip tracks, answer calls, adjust volume, and use voice commands.
+ physical buttons
+ connect your Android phone through Bluetooth
+ vehicle radio
+ steering wheel controller available (sold separately)
+ good quality display
Why We Liked It – We have chosen to add this product to our list of the best Android Auto head units because, although it does not explicitly feature Android Auto, you will easily be able to connect it to its Android operating system. The physical buttons are a nice change to the modern market and something which we believe can actually be more reliable than touch screens in the first place.
5. Pioneer AVH-2400NEX Touchscreen Double Din Car Stereo Receiver
Pioneer has made it onto our list again with the AVH-2400NEX. This double din product features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You can connect your phone to it by Bluetooth and use this to make calls.
The product also features an AM/FM receiver and so functions efficiently as a radio, as well as having access to Pandora, an internet radio system. The touch screen display can be easily customized too.
For those that are all about music, Spotify has its own dedicated A/V source on this product, so it’s pretty much made for it. Of course, for the proper experience, you’ll need a Spotify premium account, but if you have that already, then great! If not, it’s worth exploring the possibility of getting one if you’re going to get this particular Android Auto head unit.
+ Android Auto
+ Bluetooth connectivity
+ radio functions
+ Spotify A/V source
Why We Liked It – As mentioned earlier, Pioneer is one of the best in the business, and its products can be trusted to be reliable and of high quality. The Pioneer AVH-2400NEX is no exception. We were particularly impressed by the dedicated Spotify A/V source, meaning you can listen to music whenever and however you want.
6. Binize Android 2 Din Car Stereo Radio Multimedia Player
This Binize product is again another that does not directly support Android Auto, although it can be sideloaded with a USB dongle if you want. The fact of the matter is, though, you are unlikely to need it.
This Binize head unit has an Android 9.1 operating system and 2 GB of RAM with a flash memory of 16 GB. The 7-inch screen will give you clear vision due to its high resolution as well as being easy to use. There is space for a rearview camera attachment, and it features a built-in FM receiver, WiFi modules to connect to the internet or a hotspot from your phone, and an inbuilt GPS navigation system.
+ Android Auto supported (through a USB dongle)
+ Bluetooth connectivity
+ good screen resolution on the display
+ navigation system that covers most countries in the world
Why We Liked It – We liked how simple this product is to use and how it comes with a good range of different features for an affordable price.
7. COREHAN Double Din Android Car Stereo
Like many products of this kind, this one from COREHAN comes with modules for WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS navigation. It is based on an Android 7.0 operating system and enables you to download more apps from the Google Play store.
You can connect to this product via Bluetooth, a USB cable, or a micro SD card, as well as using the convenient mirror feature from your Android phone to the multimedia display of the head unit. There is functionality to be able to connect your screen to any headrest screens in the back, so you can control what your family or friends might be watching on car journeys too.
The instructions for installing this one are detailed and straightforward and come with the product – customers report that it can be slightly fiddly to install, yet it is made much easier with the detailed plans. COREHAN is also proud to advertise that its customer services are also open 24/7.
Finally, you will also get a wiring harness when you buy this product. Wiring harnesses are not always included, so watch out for that.
+ based on an Android 7.0 operating system, so the display is a recognized good quality
+ multiple ways to connect including Bluetooth and USB
+ option to connect to additional headrest screens in the back
+ 24/7 customer support
Why We Liked It – Again – disclaimer – this particular product does not feature Android Auto, specifically. Rather than this, it features an Android operating system – this makes the lack of Android Auto almost irrelevant if you already have an Android phone. We chose to add this to our list of the best Android head units because it features a wide range of different features for connectivity and has basically anything you might need.
8. Binize Android Touch Screen Multimedia Radio
This one also has a built-in WiFi module, meaning you can connect to the internet and download apps of your choice through the Google Play store. For navigation, the system utilizes Google Maps to help you get around.
This is one of the bigger options on our list, in terms of both processing power and physical size: the screen measures 10.1 inches across, and it has 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM (memory) – this is approximately double what all the other products on our list have.
Connect your cell phone to this product using Bluetooth to make hands-free calls; a microphone comes with this head unit, so calls can be easily made. You can also use this microphone to use voice commands to control what you want your system to be doing.
Like many products, there is support if you want to connect with USB cables too.
+ Google Maps for the navigation system
+ built-in WiFi module
+ radio (AM/FM) receivers
+ Bluetooth connectivity
+ microphone included
Why We Liked It – We liked this product and added it to our list because of its increased RAM and ROM sizes, which should mean a smoother operation when it is installed. The larger physical size of the display, also, will be useful to those buyers who need a bigger screen to fit their car.
9. BOSS Audio BVCP9685A Car Multimedia Player
This head unit from BOSS features Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay.
The display is 6.75 inches long, sitting in a standard 7-inch frame. With Android Auto, many apps are included, including radio Disney, Amazon, Whatsapp, and many more – just say “Okay, Google” to activate the voice control system.
Connect using Bluetooth to make hands-free calls. It also features a USB port that you can use for both connecting to the device and charging your devices while you drive. It is also possible to separately purchase a steering wheel control unit for added ease and making focusing on the road as easy as possible.
+ Android Auto is included
+ easy and simple to use, from a trusted brand
+ USB port included, as well as Bluetooth connectivity
+ option to purchase a steering wheel control unit too
Why We Liked It – This Android Auto head unit has been added to our list because it features everything you would look for from a good quality piece of kit – if you would like a simple, trusted device to play music and charge your devices through the USB ports, as well as being easy to use and professional in appearance, then we would highly recommend this BOSS Android Auto head unit.
10. Sony XAVV10BT Media Receiver with Bluetooth
Sony is a trusted brand and has been for many years. This product features Bluetooth connectivity with a simple to use touchscreen that you can connect your USB cables too as well as any aux cables.
The volume control is a good old-fashioned dial – something which we thought was great and wonder why they have somewhat gone out of fashion. A rotating dial means that your focus on your driving and the road is maximal. You don’t have to put any focus on what you are doing with the volume controls. Although it is a small feature, it is one that we really like.
There is the option to connect a rearview camera to this product, like many others. It also features 4 lots of 55 W amplifiers to increase sound quality at your speakers.
Finally, despite being a double din head unit, this product is reasonably small, by comparison, meaning it is usually easier to mount than contemporary head units.
+ Bluetooth connectivity
+ 6.2-inch touchscreen
+ rotary dial for controlling volume output
+ 4 x 55 W amplifiers
+ smaller and therefore easier to mount in most cars
Why We Liked It – We liked this product because it features lots of things that might be of interest to a buyer – as simple as it sounds, having a volume dial can be quite rare on aftermarket head units these days (you need only to look at the rest of the products on our list!). It is a handy feature for keeping your attention fully on the road. The screen is also smaller than many, so it doesn’t take up many fields of vision. The in-built amplifiers are great too if you are swapping out your whole system of car stereos for something new.
Android Head Unit Buyer’s Guide
What’s the Best Android Head Unit?
If you have read through the products that we have listed above, you will have seen that we chose the Pioneer AVH-2300NEX as the best Android Auto head unit we could find, due to its excellent reputation and ease of use and installation. It features Android Auto and is well known to give good user satisfaction.
Pioneer is a trusted brand that has been since 1937. The Pioneer AVH-2300NEX is just another example of the company’s good attention to detail and high-quality finishes, all for affordable prices.
The best Android Auto head unit for your needs may be different to the Pioneer product we have chosen – to think a little more about what the best Android Auto head unit for you might be; please see the next paragraph: “What is the Best Car Head Unit For Me?”.
What is the Best Car Head Unit For Me?
There are several things you may like to consider as you buy your new head unit, that we have detailed here:
Fitment – as with all car parts, the new part you are buying must fit, unless you are particularly handy and good at fabrication and welding and so on. Take into account the physical size of your current system and make sure that the new one you buy fits into this space nicely. Most head units will come with a mounting kit if you need it, but as long as the fitment size is the same as the previous system, it should be fine.
Cost – of course, you want to spend as little as possible, whatever kind of system you’re after – the best way to do this is to consider what type of Android Auto head unit you are after. If you are just after a cheap one to fill in the gap, then we would always recommend checking for a warranty.
If you’re after a more expensive one with a better reputation and good processing power and so on, you should still check for a warranty. This will cover any unexpected problems with your new product and mean that you haven’t spent your money for no reason. It’s also worth checking whether or not the new product will come with a wiring harness or not – these can sometimes be quite expensive too.
Brand reputation – the brand reputation of Android Auto head units might be of importance to you for a couple of reasons:
1) to show off – brands like BOSS, Alpine, and Pioneer are recognized for their quality and having one in your car can help to show off to your friends and family;
2) brands with bigger reputations are (in general) more likely to help you out with warranties and protections and advice, etc. This is because they have more to lose in terms of their good reputation making sales for them; 3) – and this is the most obvious – brands build a reputation for quality by consistently providing previous customers with high quality. This means that you can trust them to work and work well. Having said all that, just because you have not heard of a brand before, does not necessarily mean it is a poor product – reading customer reviews on Amazon is likely to help out with learning more about them.
- Does it feature Android Auto, and do I need it? – Android Auto is a great feature, but you don’t necessarily need it. All of the head units we have featured in our above list are compatible with Android phones, and some also run off Android operating systems, but not all of them feature Android Auto.We have still chosen to add them to this list because these products will still do pretty much the same things as those with Android Auto – of course, its display will appear slightly different in terms of presentation, but in reality, that’s often all you need. If Android Auto is essential for you to have, though, double-check that the one you want to buy says that it has it!
- How easy is it to install? – most head units are relatively simple to install, especially in comparison to other parts of car stereo systems (car stereos replacements often mean a lot of complicated wiring and soldering). Most of the time, you will find instructions to be clear and concise. Again, it is best to read reviews and perhaps watch videos to double-check how simple this process is. Sometimes all that is required is to like-for-like put the old wires that went to the old system into the new, but sometimes you will have to do a lot more work than this. If you’re unsure about installing your new head unit, it’s best to take it to a professional auto electrician – 1) they will know what they’re doing, and 2) any mistakes will be covered by their personal warranties. Of course, the trade-off for this is that it will cost you considerably more money in total.
- How easy it is to use – we recommend physical buttons (rather than only touch screen buttons) or voice-command-based units. Touch screens are great, but when you’re driving, they can be quite dangerous as they require a lot of your attention to look, focus, and then press the button you want. This can distract you from the road. The simpler, the better, no matter whether or not you are going for a cheap or expensive unit, for this reason.
- Customer reviews – always read reviews of products – these are real-life trials of the Android Auto head units you want to buy. It is best to read these because you can learn from previous customers’ mistakes as well as listening to their recommendations.
What is the Android Auto App?
Android Auto is not an app; it is more of an operating system – when your Android phone connects to a car, the Android Auto display comes up on the display of the head unit. Android Auto head units are useful because they mean you can spend as much time focusing on the road as possible, and that you can keep your phone away from you, so it doesn’t distract you while you’re driving. Please see the introductory paragraphs for a little more information on Android Auto.
What is Android 5.0 Lollipop?
“Lollipop” is the code name for Android’s 5.0 operating system, which was released in 2014. It was the fifth major version of Android’s operating system and encompassed products from Android 5.0 to 5.1.1.
We hope this guide has been useful for you as you look for the best Android Auto head unit for your car – as always, thank you for reading.