For a car stereo, a touchscreen isn’t just a luxury. It’s dangerous to fiddle with knobs, dials, and buttons while driving as it’s a distraction that can’t be afforded. Touchscreens are intuitive and functional, helping you to focus on driving while using them.
By 2022, a whopping 98.8% of cars sold in the United States will have a digital display screen. But it’s not realistic for everyone to buy a new vehicle every time technology changes! (1)
Fortunately, you can upgrade your car with a touchscreen stereo without splashing out on a new vehicle. We have compiled a list of the best aftermarket touchscreen car stereos on the market.
If you want easy access to GPS navigation, music streaming, and infotainment systems, be sure to read on and find the best touchscreen car stereo for you.
The Best Touch Screen Car Stereos in 2023
- Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to make hands-free calling or play media content
- 6.2 inch is large enough touch screen
- Quick and easy DIY install
- Built-in car safety features
- Works with smartphones, speakers and tablets
- 7″ size with intuitive touch screen swipe controls
- Simple and easy to use
- Seamless integration with Waze and Google Maps
- Double-DIN unit with insane customization features
- Seamless connectivity via WiFi, USB, or Bluetooth tethering
- Supports CarPlay and Android Auto
- Supports USB and SD card
- Easy to install
- Strong Bluetooth connectivity
- Double DIN head unit with a whopping 10.1″ screen
- Exceptional audio quality
- Compatible with ADAS
- Pairs seamlessly with iOS and Android
- 6.2 inches screen size
- Supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Works perfectly with third-party apps like Spotify
- 6.2″ size with a display you can customize to your taste
- Supports multiple media formats (FLAC, WAV, MPEG, JPEG, WMA, and MP3)
- Reasonable price tag
- Great sound quality
- Backup camera support
- Supports third-party services like Pandora and Spotify
Let’s dive into the details of our hand-picked touchscreen car stereos.
1. Pioneer MVH1400NEX – Best Overall
Pioneer MVH1400NEX features a 6.2-inch capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 800 x 400 pixel. The screen stereo includes a dedicated Spotify that can be control with your either an iPhone or Android.
|Dimensions||11.1 x 9.7 x 3.45 inches|
|Number of Channels||4|
|Display Size||6.2″ Capacitive Touchscreen|
|Special Features||Touchscreen, Spotify|
The touchscreen on the Pioneer MVH1400NEX supports Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for hands-free calling and media playback from your smartphone. As a reputable Japanese brand in electronics, it’s not surprising that the stereo can handle many audio and video playback formats.
Pioneer MVH1400NEX comes with all necessary accessories and wiring for a quick and easy DIY installation. While it may not be the largest touchscreen car stereo on the market, the 6.2-inch display is large enough to see without squinting your eyes. The touchscreen stereo also supports Apple CarPlay, providing a safer and more engaging way to use your iPhone while driving.
Additionally, you can control specific apps on your phone using the Pioneer MVH1400NEX. It even offers Siri Eyes Free for specific iOS devices and voice recognition for Android devices with a 5.0 Lollipop operating system or higher. The LED (light-emitting diode) display technology is bright and clear in both daylight and nighttime.
The Pioneer MVH1400NEX also includes Waze for real-time driving directions, although you can still use Google Maps if preferred. Keep in mind that you’ll need to install a parking brake bypass to access essential features while driving. This touchscreen car stereo is suitable for both sedans and SUVs, although the software can be slightly buggy and the display may be difficult to navigate while driving. Android Auto support is also limited to certain vehicles.
That said, despite these drawbacks, the wide range of functionality and reasonable price make Pioneer MVH1400NEX a good choice for your car infotainment system.
2. Alpine ILX-W650 – Best for Smartphone Compatibility
The Alpine ILX-W650 is an excellent way to bring the functionality of your smartphone into your car stereo. It’s compatible with smartphones, speakers, and tablets and has a convenient 7″ size with intuitive touchscreen swipe controls.
|Dimensions||10 x 8 x 7 inches|
|Display||7″ Capacitive Touchscreen|
|Number of Channels||6|
|Inputs||USB and AUX|
|Output Wattage||18 Watts|
Unlike other touchscreen car stereos that claim compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Alpine ILX-W650 actually delivers on these promises. Both systems work smoothly without the common issues and glitches found on lesser car stereos.
The Alpine ILX-W650 utilizes a hands-free control that allows you to control your apps through voice commands. The setup is easy and the controls are intuitive and responsive, allowing you to completely eliminate the need for touch.
The Alpine ILX-W650 touchscreen has a clear and understated display, and the audio quality is crystal clear. You can play various video formats through the USB, and it also has built-in iPhone and iPad controls for Spotify and Pandora.
This compact Alpine ILX-W650 receiver is suitable for users who need an affordable touch screen radio with specific features. It’s double-DIN hardware with dual video inputs, but it doesn’t have a built-in camera and you will need to purchase one separately to install it in your vehicle. The Alpine ILX-W650 also only has one USB slot, which may be a deal-breaker for some users.
Despite these limitations, the Alpine ILX-W650 system has seamless integration with Waze and Google Maps. Its shallow design improves airflow, preventing overheating, and makes it easy to install in any vehicle, even those with limited installation space. There will also be room to install other aftermarket hardware to enhance this touchscreen car stereo.
3. ATOTO A6 – Best for High Performance
The ATOTO A6 is a double-DIN unit that offers extensive customization features. It can be connected to the internet seamlessly through Wi-Fi, USB, or Bluetooth tethering. A pro tip is to use the Wi-Fi connection for the easiest internet access on the screen.
|Audio Output Mode||AUX, Stereo|
|Network Connection||Ultra External Wi-Fi Antenna|
|Bluetooth||Dual Bluetooth (BT1 4.2 & BT2 4.0)|
|Special Features||Touchscreen, Bluetooth|
You’ll love the mirroring feature that allows the ATOTO A6 to mirror video content on your Android or iPhone. However, it’s worth mentioning that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto don’t support specific apps like YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Netflix, which don’t work with MirrorLink. In simple terms, you can’t cast your movies directly from your smartphone.
That said, when it comes to sound quality, the ATOTO A6 has a 32-band equalizer (EQ) that would impress any audiophile. It works hand in glove with the ATOTO AC-JD02LR camera to give you live rear view features, including night vision and reversing.
The display of ATOTO A6 is a 5-touch capacitive touchscreen with one of the widest viewing angles at 178 degrees. This feature ensures you can enjoy the view no matter your sitting position. It’s a good HD user interface with a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution. In truth, the touchscreen quality feels like a smartphone built into a car stereo. It’s intuitive and responsive, there’s almost non-existent lag, and the display is super sharp. The video quality is impressive, and you can watch your favorite video formats in the highest quality.
The ATOTO A6 also continues to provide firmware updates to enhance the user experience. The sound quality may not be the best in its class, but this flaw is forgivable if you use Spotify and set the EQ to Flat or Natural.
It’s rather annoying that the screen protector isn’t practical and not worth installing. You may also experience some lag when installing apps, but the ATOTO A6 is still a more than capable touchscreen stereo for your needs.
4. BOSS BV9364B – Best Affordable
BOSS BV9364B is a budget-friendly touch screen car stereo that provides simplistic functionality at the most affordable price.
|Dimensions||7 x 6.67 x 3.93 inches|
|Output Wattage||320 Watts|
|Inputs||USB Charging, USB, AUX|
Right off the bat, the BOSS BV9364B is a double-DIN device that has an inbuilt DVD player and USB ports for playing a wide variety of video and audio formats. You’ll also appreciate the Auxiliary Out that allows wired connectivity to your smartphone. Additionally, there is Bluetooth connectivity for wireless support. The entire BOSS BV9364B package is built into a 6.2-inch color screen that’s intuitive, although it may not be the most responsive.
It’s shocking how affordable the BOSS BV9364B is, given that it has features you’d normally find in a more expensive touchscreen. Consequently, this BOSS infotainment screen is an excellent choice for the gadget enthusiast who needs an upgrade without breaking the bank.
Given the low price point, it’s not surprising that the BOSS BV9364B’s touchscreen stereo looks like it could have a better finish. There are some complaints that you need to press hard on the interface multiple times before it responds to touch. If you want something sleek and feels like an iPhone flagship, you’d be better served looking elsewhere. The touch screen also has a steering wheel accessory to control the touch screen function as you drive, although you’d need to buy this interface as a separate purchase. That said, the video doesn’t skip at all and you can tweak the wiring to watch videos while driving (although we don’t recommend this!).
In sum, the BOSS BV9364B is suitable for old cars that are too modern to use a cassette player and too old for the more sophisticated touchscreen head units.
5. P.L.Z AN-500 – Best with Dash Cam
The P.L.Z AN-500 is an ambitious touch screen car stereo that elevates your vehicle’s infotainment system without bankrupting you. It’s a double DIN head unit with a whopping 10.1″ screen.
|Dimensions||7 x 4 x 6 inches|
|Display Type||7 inch HD LCD Monitor|
|Max Power Output||4X 60 Watt|
|Inputs||USB/SD Playback + AUX|
Even with the large screen, the IPS (In-Plane Switching) display of P.L.Z AN-500 is neat and sharp compared to other head units. The inbuilt receiver provides the latest highway information, allowing you to enjoy Waze or Google Maps. Additionally, the sound output is powered to 240 watts, and you can elevate P.L.ZAN-500 by getting yourself a subwoofer. One feature you can’t ignore is the dashcam with a 170-degree viewing angle, including night vision features.
And guess what? You can watch all of that recording on your P.L.Z AN-500 head unit via USB cable. The Dash Cam also supports the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) to prevent forward collisions, lane departure warnings, and other hazardous situations that can lead to a rear-end collision. Interestingly, the P.L.Z AN-500 head unit is a standard fit for most dual DIN vehicles. You can make hands-free calls through Bluetooth, and the touchscreen also has 12 equalizers tailored to genre and style, including Rock, Pop, Jazz, Loud, and Classic, to give you an exceptional audio experience.
As a result, the P.L.Z AN-500 touchscreen car stereo doesn’t feel cheap, with a decent FM tuner. It pairs seamlessly with iOS and Android, and the PHONE LINK feature can function as your GPS. However, there are complaints of the dash camera failing without warning and the P.L.Z AN-500 head unit heating up when in use for an extended period. Despite this, P.L.Z AN-500 is a robust unit with some impressive features. The build quality is decent with premium materials, and the touchscreen is as responsive as any top-notch head unit on the market.
6. Kenwood DDX25BT – Best Durable
This Kenwood DDX25BT double DIN head unit is reliably built and impressively robust, making it one of the most durable out there. If you’re looking for a touch screen car stereo that will outlive touch screen technology, then the Kenwood DDX25BT could be for you.
|Dimensions||9.45 x 7.09 x 4.33 inches|
|Display Type||6. 2 inch Wide VGA Color LCD Display|
|Connectivity||RCA, Bluetooth, USB|
|Number of Channels||4|
With a tuner that gives you as many AM and FM stations as you want, and the option of Sirius XM satellite radio, the Kenwood DDX25BT head unit offers a multitude of ways to enjoy music. Additionally, through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you can enjoy hands-free phone calls or listen to third-party services such as Spotify and Pandora.
This Kenwood DDX25BT multimedia receiver has a responsive touchscreen and superior audio quality, including voice control, making it a great choice for on-the-go use. It also has a GPS mapping feature that supports Google Maps and Waze, and you can screencast the content from your Android phone to the car touchscreen using Kenwood’s free app Mirroring OA. This allows you to use your phone apps on a larger screen and with better audio quality.
Please note that you will need to install Mirroring OA via Bluetooth or USB connectivity to use this feature. Additionally, the Kenwood DDX25BT has the option to purchase a backup camera to help with reversing, and comes with all the necessary wiring for easy installation. However, it does have one downside – it only has one USB port. While the Kenwood DDX25BT aspires to be an all-time great, this may be a point of contention for some users.
7. JVC KWV140BT – Best for Multimedia
Double DIN head units make up most of this list. The JVC KWV140BT isn’t an exception.
|Dimensions||12 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches|
|Maximum Power Output||(Front & Rear) 50W x 4|
|Connectivity||RCA, Bluetooth, USB|
|Number of Channels||4|
The JVC KWV140BT has a reasonable size of 6.2″ and features a customizable user interface. The touchscreen stereo also includes an inbuilt DVD player that’s compatible with CDs. In addition, you can play a variety of media formats including FLAC, WAV, MPEG, JPEG, WMA, and MP3.
Bluetooth connectivity is a must for this unit and allows for hands-free phone calls, voice dialing, and audio streaming from iOS or Android devices. The JVC KWV140BT also comes with a wireless remote control to prevent users from fiddling with the head unit while driving.
The major drawback of the JVC KWV140BT is the lack of satellite radio in the form of Sirius XM, and some may find the EQ (equalizer) to be insufficient. There have also been reports of the screen freezing up on some faulty units. Despite this, the JVC KWV140BT is still a great head unit for the price.
8. Pioneer AVH-X390BS – Best for Satellite Radio
The Pioneer AVH-X390BS is the second Pioneer touchscreen car stereo on this list. It is a testament to the brand’s quality. The standout feature of the Pioneer AVH-X390BS is its intuitive and sharply defined interface. This makes it comfortable on the eyes, even on the sunniest day!
|Dimensions||11 x 9.5 x 6 inches|
|Screen Size||6.2″ WVGA screen|
|Number of Channels||4|
Of course, the Pioneer AVH-X390BS comes with a wiring harness for seamless integration with your car, and the installation is straightforward. It has a built-in microphone and Bluetooth connectivity that works great for hands-free calling.
This Pioneer AVH-X390BS double-DIN head unit has the Best Station Memory feature, which saves your best radio channels for whenever you’re on the road. It’s a smart feature that saves you from the fiddly programming of old.
The peak power output of 50 watts and RMS (root mean square) of 14 watts may not be the most powerful out there, but the Pioneer AVH-X390BS still works wonderfully well with crisp, clear audio. You can play almost any media format on this hardware, and it supports third-party services like Pandora and Spotify. Additionally, you’ll find a USB port to play your content via a flash drive, and the equalizer has 13 bands. You’ll love the AppRadioLive app that offers free GPS through your smartphone. However, this can be tricky to figure out.
If you want a touchscreen car stereo that you can personalize, the Pioneer AVH-X390BS is for you. The standout feature is the satellite radio that is Sirius XM ready. The audio quality is superb, even with the stock speakers in your car. The sound is clearly defined with minimal distortion at high volume.
The operating system may not impress you, but the Pioneer AVH-X390BS is easy to use at the basic level. It can be a challenge to browse for songs via the Spotify app, but you can still delete or add music to a playlist and “thumb down” songs you don’t like.
However, there are complaints that Waze isn’t compatible with iOS 11. The Pioneer company is aware of this issue, and here’s to hoping it gets resolved quickly. In sum, the negatives are just a slight blight on what is otherwise a fantastic product.
From Compatibility to Cost: A Comprehensive Look at Touchscreen Stereo Factors
There are some factors to consider before deciding on a touchscreen car stereo. These factors, along with many others, are discussed in depth below.
Capacitive And Resistive Touch Screens
There is no definitive answer on which type of touchscreen to choose for your touchscreen stereo. It ultimately boils down to personal preference. Typically capacitive touchscreen is considered better as compared to resistive touchscreen screen especially in touchscreen stereos.
Capacitive touchscreens use the natural conductivity of the human body to function. They are highly sensitive and accurate, and can easily detect multiple touches at once, particularly for pinch gestures. However, they are typically more expensive and can’t be used with gloves.
On the other hand, resistive touchscreens rely solely on pressure to function, so they can be operated with a pen or stylus. They are usually less sensitive and accurate, but they can be useful in areas with heavy rain and high temperatures. While resistive touchscreens may offer more options for operation, capacitive screens tend to have better screen clarity and contrast.
Display Screen Size
- Single DIN (50mm x 180mm) head units are typically used for compact touchscreen stereos. These systems, while they might not offer a lot of features, still offer great sound quality and basic functionalities.
- Double DIN head units, which are 100mm x 180mm in size, are typically larger. As a result, they offer more advanced features such as GPS navigation, smartphone integration, and extended audio functionalities.
DIN is the acronym for Deutsches Institut für Normung which is the common standard for car stereos.
You may want to get a double-DIN touchscreen car stereo as it has the largest screen display on the market. A double-DIN touchscreen head unit is also the best solution for occupying kids on a long trip. However, it’s important to measure the dimensions of your dashboard to ensure that you get the right size head unit that will fit easily.
Bluetooth allows you to connect and control a variety of devices, wirelessly. In a touchscreen car stereo, Bluetooth can be used to connect the stereo to other mobile devices, such as a smartphone, tablets, etc. This allows you to play music from your smartphone through the car’s audio system, and make hands-free calling and voice controlling make things easier and safer especially while driving. Keep your eyes on the road!
Generally, it’s recommended to choose a touchscreen stereo that has a minimum Bluetooth 3.0 version, however, the above is always better. This allows you to enjoy the stereo’s advanced features with a higher connectivity range, and data-transfer performance.
Touchscreen stereos with USB ports can be extremely useful for a variety of purposes. For example, you can play audio or video files directly from your connected device. The USB port is also handy for charging your mobile devices, especially during long trips.
It’s worth noting that a USB port can be convenient for upgrading the stereo’s firmware with new software. This helps to add more features and improve the performance of your touchscreen stereo.
The number of USB ports varies across different touchscreen stereos. It really depends on your specific needs. Generally, having a touchscreen stereo with at least 2 USB ports is a good starting point.
If you don’t want to rely on streaming music from your mobile devices, it’s important to have a built-in CD player (compatible with DVD) in your touchscreen stereo. This will allow you to play music or videos, especially when you are in a location with no Wi-Fi or mobile data/cellular connection availability.
For some people, compact discs (CDs) hold sentimental value and bring back memories of different times.
The latest touchscreen receivers support third-party apps such as Spotify and Pandora. They offer convenience and easy streaming of on-demand music from your subscription service.
Satellite radio is a must-have today because it allows you to listen to your favorite music genres, sports, and talk shows that may not be available on most FM and AM radio stations. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about running out of signal.
If you enjoy iHeartRadio, Sirius XM, and other satellite channels, you should look out for touchscreen head units that support them. If you prefer to listen through your smartphone, all you need is Bluetooth connectivity or AUX-IN to play the audio on your screen.
Other Things You Should Consider in Touchscreen Stereo
The far-distant days of the cassette stereo are long gone. They have been replaced by head units that offer far more than just music. However, there are still other considerations to keep in mind when choosing a head unit. The following factors can make the difference between a good and an excellent touchscreen head unit.
The touchscreen display with sound controls makes it easier to see all the sound settings at a glance. This allows you to quickly customize the sound settings based on your personal preferences.
Some touchscreen stereos even connect to other mobile devices, allowing you to control sound settings directly from your smartphone. This is especially useful when you’re on the go.
Interestingly, these sound control settings aren’t only limited to touchscreen stereos. Some budget-friendly stereos also feature better sound quality and adjustment settings compared to the factory-installed head unit in your vehicle.
A navigation system helps you to reach your destination efficiently by providing turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic data. This is very useful as it helps you to find nearby gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, etc., saving you time and hassle.
When looking for a navigation system in a touchscreen stereo, it’s important to check that it covers the area of certain regions that you will be driving in and offers real-time traffic updates with the quickest routes to your destination. Additionally, if the navigation system offers voice control, it can be much easier to control it without taking your eyes off the road.
Many touchscreen stereos offer access to navigation apps such as Google Maps and Apple Maps, but you will need to connect to a Wi-Fi or cellular connection if you have not already downloaded the map of your destination.
While GPS navigation is pretty standard for many head units, it’s not uncommon to find a touchscreen car stereo without one! Therefore, if the navigation system is your priority, you can always check out our top-picked GPS navigation stereos.
Android Auto / Apple CarPlay
Touch screen car stereos are simply smartphones on steroids. It’s no surprise that many large screen car stereos support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These apps integrate with your compatible Android and Apple devices to enhance your driving experience. They provide easier access to music, hands-free calling and texting, navigation, and other phone features without picking up the phone. This helps you stay focused on the road and reduces the chances of accidents.
One of the reasons to choose an aftermarket head unit is to elevate your vehicle’s interior. Many premium products have cutting-edge displays and sleek layouts. You can also tweak and customize the GUI (Graphical User Interface) to your taste.
Additionally, multi-line displays provide more information without fiddling with the display. You can buy touchscreen car stereos with floating screens to give your infotainment that extra oomph.
Even some premium head units fall short of certain expectations or may not have it all. However, they can be expanded to support other features. For instance, some touchscreen head units have preamp outputs that allow you to connect to a powered subwoofer or external amplifiers.
If you intend to add a subwoofer, it’s important to get a head unit that supports subwoofer output. Additionally, it’d be beneficial to have the ability to adjust the subwoofer volume separately without using the touchscreen volume control.
Dual-zone functioning is a great premium feature that effectively splits your vehicle into two separate spheres. This enables passengers in the front and back to choose their own audio, eliminating the need for arguments over playlist selection. For example, front seat passengers can listen to the radio or podcasts, while back seat passengers can watch movies from a DVD or play video games.
However, it’s important to note that in some touchscreen head units with dual-zone functioning, only certain audio and video formats can be played in the back seats.
The cost of a touchscreen stereo varies depending on the brand and desired features. Generally speaking, prices can range from $120 to $300. It’s important to consider your budget and only purchase the features that you need in order to avoid overspending.
Installation of Touchscreen Stereo
Some head units require professional installation while others don’t. It’s sometimes better to leave it to the professionals in order to avoid making a mistake that could void the warranty.
Typically, most touchscreen car stereos come with an installation manual or you can watch this YouTube video to learn how to install your touchscreen stereo correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I install a touchscreen stereo myself?
Typically, most touchscreen car stereos are plug-and-play devices, which makes them quite easy to install. Simply remove your old or factory-installed car stereo and plug in your new stereo in its place. That’s it, you’re all set.
If you don’t know how to install a car stereo, don’t spend hours scouring the internet for installation tips. Instead, check out our step-by-step guide for a successful car stereo installation with ease.
What’s the installation cost of a touchscreen stereo?
The installation cost of a touchscreen stereo will depend on various factors, including the type of product, its functionality, the location, and the type of vehicle. Generally, hiring a professional for installing such a stereo can cost anywhere between $25 to $250. However, if you’re handy with tools, you may choose to do it yourself (DIY) in order to save costs.
Touchscreen car stereos can improve your driving experience and make traveling more enjoyable. These aftermarket options are becoming increasingly popular as almost all devices now use a touchscreen. Not only do they provide in-car entertainment, but they also keep you informed of important information that can make your trip safer. They can also improve the aesthetic of your car, making your dashboard look like something out of a spaceship.
Adding a rearview camera can also provide a better view than a traditional side mirror. In addition, installing a premium touchscreen car stereo can increase the value of your vehicle if you decide to sell it in the future. It’s a smart investment that’s sure to pay off.