In the year 2022, an android car stereo isn’t just a car stereo… Now it’s your navigation system, your media center, it’s your communications hub.
But if you’re a connoisseur of the cassette, that might come as news to you. Or maybe you’ve got the road atlas open on the passenger seat. If your factory car stereo doesn’t offer you space-age functionality, you’re missing out.
And while we can’t upgrade our vehicle to keep up with the technological trends, installing an aftermarket car stereo lets you import all the functionality of your mobile device into your dashboard.
When it comes to car stereos, compatibility matters. And while Apple’s CarPlay competes with Android Auto, you want to make sure your stereo and your mobile device are going to mesh.
That’s where an Android Auto head unit comes in. Built on Android operating systems, you know that your Android device and your double-DIN head unit are going to be a match made in motoring heaven.
So what are you waiting for?
The Best Android Car Stereos in 2022
If you’re looking for a smart little robot to handle your dashboard desires, these are the best Android-compatible car stereos out there.
- Slimline 7” stereo makes it saving-saving unit
- Features all essential Android apps
- USB and Bluetooth connectivity
- Great quality sound
- Marshmallow OS for maximum compatibility
- Built-in GPS Receiver
- Backed-up by bars of buttons for common control
- Compatible with both Android Auto and Android Wireless
- Built-in apps, from YouTube To Yelp
- Easy to install
- Easily adjustable EQ settings for your favorite genres
- Easy to install
- Decent upgrade to factory offerings
- Android 10.0 OS with 2GB RAM
- Easy to install
- Built-in offline maps
- Built for Android users and Jeep drivers
- Android 10.0 OS for seamless functionality on mobile devices
- Easy installation
- Giant 10.1” touchscreen display
- Includes a reversing camera
- Great value for money
Here are the best Android Auto head units on the market.
1. Alpine iLX-W650 7″ – Best Low Profile Stereo
Alpine is one of the biggest brands in stereo manufacturing with a strong reputation for build quality and great sound.
The iLX-W650 is built as a slimline 7” stereo, making it compatible with a wide range of vehicles and ensuring you can install it without the headache.
The touchscreen design features all your favorite Android apps and it’s intuitive to use while you’re on the road. There’s also a button bar at the base of the display giving you easy access to common controls.
This modern model doesn’t have a CD drive, so ditch the discs. But with Pandora, SiriusXM as well as digital and analog radio you have plenty of tunes to choose from.
And of course, there’s USB and Bluetooth connectivity for access to your phone’s musical library.
The 18 watts RMS powering this Alpine stereo is enough to get the job done, but this isn’t a stereo that packs too much of a punch. For full-powered sound, you might want to opt for the optional amplifier upgrades.
2. ATOTO A6 – Best For Navigation
ATOTO is in the game for Android users. They’ve built a system based on the Android Marshmallow OS that’s designed for maximum compatibility with your mobile device.
With in-built apps such as Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube you have access to a range of entertainment options at the touch of a button. The sensitive touchscreen is backed up by a bar of buttons for your common controls, and steering-wheel control can be retained during installation.
It’s also a well-powered sound system. The 4 x 29 watt RMS power sounds great when you turn it up.
The built-in GPS receiver gives you navigation in-unit without falling back on a mobile device, and there are inputs for additional rear cameras. You’ll always know where you’re going with this unit.
Installation and wiring are a little more complex compared to other stereos, but with a stereo wiring kit (sold separately) it’s an achievable job for the DIY-minded.
While there aren’t that many apps yet compatible with the ATOTO OS, the Easy Connection function gives you access to your full range of mobile functionality. Unfortunately, Easy Connection is a little glitchy and can’t always be relied upon. But for entertainment and navigation, the ATOTO apps are there for you.
3. Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX – Best For Integrated Amazon Alexa
Pioneer’s Android-oriented stereo is compatible with both Android Auto and Android Wireless, giving you a choice of connectivity options for your Android mobile device.
A sensitive tilting touchscreen allows you to adjust for glare and gives you reliable control over your head unit whether you’ve got the tunes blasting or the GPS going.
The wireless mode automatically connects with your phone so you can hit the road without pausing to plug in. That’s instant access to Spotify or Soundcloud. With 40 watts RMS power, this is one of the most powerful head units around – Pioneer is guaranteeing quality audio when you crank it up to 11.
There are also a few built-in apps, from YouTube To Yelp, bringing you even more functionality on your dash. Restaurant reviews on the road? Why not. You’ve also got the usual radio functions, from AM/FM to digital, to fall back on.
With the right wiring harness, installation is a breeze. It’s amazing how much technology is packed into Pioneer’s AVH-W4500NEX, but fortunately, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to get it up and running.
4. Binize 10.1 Inch Double DIN Android 9.1 Car Stereo – Best Android Stereo On A Budget
Binize has gone to lengths to build an affordable android car stereo without the frills. If you’re looking for a head-unit upgrade for Android that doesn’t break the bank then Binize is the way to go.
Without too many integrated apps, you’re relying on your mobile device for the majority of functionality here. But with Bluetooth pairing as well as USB options there are plenty of ways to pair your phone here.
The 25 watt RMS power is low compared to top-tier models, but Binize is offering adequate sound quality at the affordable end of the spectrum. The stereo is equipped with FM radio – no digital – so get your Spotify subscription at the ready.
There’s a WiFi receiver as well as front- and rear-camera inputs giving you a wide range of upgrade options on the base unit. And you’ll likely have some spare change for accessories thanks to the price tag here.
Binize also offers an intuitive guide on installation so, with the right wiring harness, it’s a job anyone can do. That makes this a great introductory android head unit for those looking to upgrade the factory offerings.
5. AWESAFE Android 10.0 Car Stereo – Best Android Stereo For Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge
Finding the perfect head unit for certain vehicles is a challenge and sometimes it’s hard to work out in advance if a unit is going to be an easy install or a long-term headache. So if you’re a Jeep, Chrysler, or Dodge driver, you’ll love this AWESAFE car stereo that takes the uncertainty out of the installation.
This is a niche unit – built for Android users and Jeep drivers. But if that’s you then you’re onto a winner.
Built on Android 10.0 OS you’ll find Android Auto working seamlessly, giving you access to all the functionality of your mobile device from the dash. However, to get your phone hooked up you’ll need a USB Dongle to facilitate connection.
With a built-in offline map of North America, this is also a great option for navigation if you can’t rely on your phone’s cell service to get you from A to B.
There aren’t too many apps built for the unit, but all your Android apps work through the unit. That means you’ll rely on your mobile device for entertainment systems, but as a dedicated Android user you probably do already.
Easy installation, so long as you have the right vehicle, is always appreciated and the 6.2” touchscreen works smoothly – although compared to bigger competitors it seems a little small.
6. Hikity 10.1 Android Auto Head Unit – Best For The Big Screen
Hikity’s wide-screen head unit is great for those who think bigger is better. With a whopping 10.1” touchscreen display, it packs a lot into your dash.
As a budget option, you don’t have tons of apps included so you’ll find yourself relying on a mobile device for broader functionality. Nevertheless, there are in-built FM radio and offline navigation options for when you leave your phone at home.
With a mobile device, however, and especially an Android as it’s built on the latest Android OS, this unit comes into its own. Bluetooth and dual USB inputs give you a range of connectivity options and let you access your favorite apps on the move.
Although Hikity advertises a 45-watt peak power, the 25 watts RMS is a more realistic idea of what you can expect.
And with an included reversing camera and WiFi connectivity, this head unit comes with some surprisingly premium perks. It’s moderately powered but with an appealingly low price.
7. AWESAFE Car Radio Stereo Andriod 10.0 – Best For Chevy And GMC Drivers
If you’re worried that a vehicle-generic head unit is going to be a pain to install, or you might lose some original factory features, then a stereo built for your vehicle will give you peace of mind.
For Chevy and GMC drivers, that comes in the form of AWESAFE’s Android 10.0 car stereo.
With built-in FM as well as a CD/DVD reader, this stereo functions as your in-vehicle entertainment center. For music streaming, you’ll need to hook up your mobile device through Bluetooth or, for use of your phone’s integrated apps, by USB. There’s also AUX as an extra way to get the music pumping.
The 10.0 operating system combines with 2GB of RAM to ensure the system loads and functions smoothly. It’s voice-activated, but a touchscreen and double button panel give you easy access to your favorite features.
And GPS navigation works both online and offline – it even comes preloaded with North American maps to ensure you’re never lost.
Before You Buy: Android Car Stereo Buying Guide
Upgrading your android car stereo is the best way to get that new car feel without dropping the dough. But with so many options out there, it’s hard to know which way to go.
Here’s the Android car stereo buying guide to put you on the right road.
Sounds Good: Audio Quality
It doesn’t matter how many extra features your head unit comes with if it crackles like a 1910s gramophone when you turn it up. Sound quality matters in an android auto head unit.
Most android car stereos max out at around 50 watts of peak power, or 25 watts of RMS power (how much power the stereo is capable of sustaining for longer periods). For a bigger sound, you’ll want to up the numbers – 40 watts of RMS power will hit harder.
But these head units are built for a range of functions and audio is just one. Remember that to optimize your audio output, you’ll need to upgrade your whole sound system.
With YouTube just a touchscreen’s tap away, and occasionally DVD compatibility, screen resolution counts more than ever. Android car stereos are increasingly becoming our vehicle’s multimedia center, a home entertainment system away from home. So if you’re taking 4K for granted, then you’ll want to maximize your screen resolution.
And when it comes to resolution, brightness options and adjustable-angled screens make a big difference if you’re driving in sunlight. You don’t want to let glare take your navigation system away, then these added features can be a bright choice.
The whole world is going wireless and you don’t want to be left behind. Connectivity plays a big role in how easily your android car stereo can be used. Bluetooth enables hands-free calling, while USB inputs tend to be required if you want app access on the stereo.
Fully voice-activated head units might even be integrated with Amazon Alexa. Talk about control.
While touchscreens are taking over, unresponsive screens can actually be a danger while you’re driving. And clicking through multiple menus, tap, tap, tap, that’s just a distraction.
While a touch screen gives you greater control, look out for access to your favorite features – volume, voice call, radio, through buttons at the base of the stereo.
Rewiring an android car stereo might seem like something you don’t want to get tangled up in – but actually, thanks to adaptors and wiring harnesses it can be an easy job. Slimmer and smaller head-units might be easier to install, but of primary importance is that the system is compatible with your vehicle to begin with.
When it comes to nostalgia, most of us are happy with a Spotify playlist of throwbacks – but if you just can’t let go of your CD collection then shop around for a disc drive. CD and DVD compatibility is getting rarer, but throwing a DVD on can keep the kids quiet, letting you drive in peace.
In-Built GPS Navigation
Hands up if you’re turning to Google Maps every time you have to turn a corner. We’re increasingly reliant on GPS navigation to get from A to B, but what happens when 4G goes AWOL? In-built navigation on an android car stereo saves you worrying about remembering your mobile device, and offline maps liberate you from data worries.
Some stereos come with North American maps already downloaded while others offer free world maps. These In-built GPS systems can take the stress out of navigation.
Reversing Camera Compatibility
Thought reversing cameras were only available as a premium feature on the latest vehicles? Think again – installing a reversing camera is something you can do to any vehicle if you have a compatible head unit.
While it’s rare for an android car stereo to come with a reversing camera included (but it does happen) checking for rear camera inputs gives you the option of upgrading whenever you like. Preferably before you hear the dreaded crunch. Or you can check out the top options with backup cameras.
An Android car stereo ensures optimal compatibility with your Android device. Hook up Android Auto and hit the road.
iPhone users can even choose from the list above as most android car stereos are compatible with Apple CarPlay. Don’t let your OS put you off.
Upgrading your android car stereo might seem intimidating. But from dismantling your dash to wiring worries, even DIY-beginners can fit a new stereo. With the right wiring harness and a diagram, you can have a dashboard delight in no time.
And a new Android car stereo gives you that new car feel – without hitting the dealership. No more paranoid Android.