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Best Double DIN Apple Carplay 2020

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One of the hottest new products in cars today is the Apple Carplay feature. It’s true- smartphones have now even crept their way into vehicles! Once just a small, unheard of feature, Apple Car Play is now something that most car buyers look for. If you’re interested in buying a new car or adding to your current vehicle, it’s important to do your homework and only use the best products out on the market today.

The goal should be to improve your experience and increase the value of your car- not make your life harder to decrease your vehicle’s resale value. Apple Carplay is quickly becoming a must-have in every car. Having easy, dashboard-level access to music, messaging, and calling are just some of the advantages of having an Apple Carplay compatible stereo. In this article, let’s check out what you need to know and what the best products are on the market today.

Model

Product

Pioneer MVH-1400NEX

  • Support of modern streaming technologies
  • Installs easily
  • Most popular streaming apps for audio
  • Apple Car Play includes direct access to Siri
4.5/5
Sony XAV-AX100 Head Unit

Sony XAV-AX100

  • Aesthetic mix between Apple and Android styles
  • Apple Car Play that allows you to connect your iPhone
  • Impressive user interface

JVC KW-M730BT

  • Versatility and access to your media
  • Crisp, clear display with lighting fast connection
  • Boosts the sound quality
  • Automatic pairing makes it stress-free and easy to start listening
4.2/5

Kenwood DMX7704S

  • Impressive sound quality
  • Easy installation and aesthetic look

Clarion NX706

  • Versatile model
  • Navigation is useful and loads quickly
  • Bluetooth connection
4.3/5

What Exactly is Double DIN?

If you’re researching new things to install in your vehicle, it’s important to first know what you’re looking for. Many vehicles today are equipped with double DIN stereo system. Luckily, this term is not nearly as technical or complicated as it sounds. In fact, double DIN just refers to the size of the space where your car’s radio is. In the late 80s, when car manufacturers began to standardize the size of car radios, German manufacturers came up with the term DIN. It translates from German to simply mean German industry norm- Deutsche Industrie Normen.

A single DIN is 2” by 8”, while a double DIN is 4” by 8”. Large vehicles like SUVs, as well as many newer models, feature double DIN stereos. This extra space offers plenty of options for in-car entertainment. The last thing you want to do is shop for the wrong sized car stereo. If your car has a double DIN, this product review is the perfect place to learn about exactly what you need. Now that you know the meaning of double DIN, let’s check out what Apple Carplay is.

What Is Apple Carplay?

Your car probably comes with its own form of information and entertainment. Whether it’s a tiny scroll of simple AM and FM radio information, or a more high-tech touch screen, you may be looking to upgrade. That’s where Apple Carplay comes in. Apple’s stereo compatible app replaces your car’s system and brings your iPhone directly to your vehicle’s dashboard. Essentially, it looks like your apps are right there in front of you. It even works with your music apps, WhatsApp, Messaging, Phone, Podcasts, and a number of other popular apps.

When you get into the car, you simply plug your phone in or connect via Bluetooth and it shows up on your car’s screens. In more advanced vehicles, this can even include more than one screen. One of the best things about Apple Carplay is that it doesn’t offer another distraction in the vehicle- it removes one. Many people are tempted to grab their phones and take a peek at their apps, even when they’re behind the wheel. With your essential apps right in front of you, and Siri on hand to read texts and answer calls- there is no reason to take your eyes off the road.

Comparing Apple Carplay to Other Car Audio Systems

Apple users and Android users often find themselves at odds when it comes to smartphones. The situation is quite similar when it comes to car audio systems. Apple Carplay is a popular option, but so are Android stereos.

The world of stereos is not quite as simple as you may think, and if you value your audio system, it may be worth thinking about some of your options. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are two sides of the same coin. Essentially, if you use an Apple smartphone- Apple’s stereo app will be easier to use and more compatible with your phone and your data. Vice versa, your Android phone will work best with the company’s corresponding app.

The most important thing is to be sure that your audio system is intelligible, easy to use, and uncomplicated to maximize safety levels. Not to mention, you need to be sure to get the right size. There is DIN, double DIN, as well as OEM replacement. If your car comes with a very specific size of radio that needs to be molded exactly, a new radio is called an OEM replacement.

Car Audio Terms and Frequently Asked Questions

There are some things you should be brushed up on when you’re in the market for a new car stereo system. Here are a handful of important features that are present in nearly every car stereo system. Keep in mind what exactly they do so that you can be on the lookout while shopping.

  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth is the lifeblood of Apple Carplay. It is a form of wireless connection that allows two devices to link. Bluetooth is used to connect your phone to a dashboard display, a speaker, or even a television. Nowadays, Bluetooth is industry standard for almost everything technology-related. Music apps such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and even Podcasts are all Bluetooth compatible. Apple Car Play stereos include Bluetooth to make hands-free calling easier and safer, often including external microphones for you to talk into.

  • Mirror Linking: Mirror linking is a technology that allows you to mirror your smartphone’s screen onto a larger screen. Having all of your apps up on the dashboard is the essence of Apple Carplay. Mirror linking is one of the ways that this is made possible, and it is a significant factor in reducing safety risks on the road.

  • USB: USB is another top form of device connection. USB ports are found on most devices, including many double DIN car stereos, laptops, and USB sticks. Having a USB port on your car stereo is beneficial since it will allow you to connect your phone via cable to charge your phone, or even use more media via a USB stick. This can be particularly helpful when you run out of storage on other devices, or if you use a lot of different medias.

Best Double DIN Apple Carplay Products on the Market

Although Apple Carplay was created by Apple itself, there are so many stereos out there designed to be compatible with it. That’s why it’s essential to really think about what product you are putting into your vehicle and connecting to your phone. It’s crucial to think about what you’re purchasing and weigh out the pros and cons. There are a number of things to look out for when you’re shopping for an Apple Car Play. Keep in mind that whatever model you purchase is optimized to allow for user friendliness and the highest level of safety and hands-free options that are possible. Below, you will learn about the top five Apple Carplay products on the market, and what each of them has to offer to consumers. We will break down the most important specifications and features that each of these models has to offer. Not to mention, you can learn a lot about what other customers have noticed, appreciated, and had issues with. Let’s dive into the review.

Product # 1 – Pioneer MVH-1400NEX

Key Features

Pioneer is a well-known technology brand and manufacturer of car audio systems. It’s clear that they are a frontrunner in the world of stereos.

The Pioneer MVH-1400NEX is one of the top Apple Car Play compatible stereos on the market today. Among its many other features, the MVH seamlessly connects to your iPhone and allows you to use compatible apps directly on your car’s dashboard. The 6.2” screen display size is perfect for in-car entertainment and information, keeping your driving distractions to a minimum and improving safety levels at every turn. Not to mention, the display is backlit with LED lights and offers brightness control so that it can be viewed optimally every time. No matter where you’re driving or what time it is, your Pioneer MVH will still be offering a crisp and clear graphic picture with high resolution and an aspect ration of 16:9.

The Pioneer MVH offers many different input formats. Most importantly, you will have access to a USB port and an AUX input. This model also includes a mini-jack AV input as well as a built-in amplifier to offer you the best possible sound and audio playback in your vehicle.

Thanks to the Apple Car Play compatibility, this stereo model works with iTunes, Pandora, and other music streaming apps. Not to mention, it offers connection to your most vital messaging and phone apps so that you can communicate hands-free and stay safe on the way to your destination.

Five background options, along with color customization is available. This means that you can add a sleek, appropriate stereo to your vehicle. The sleek, light look combined with the timeless aesthetic of Apple’s design will make your vehicle stand out and add to its’ value.

This stereo system is designed not only to give you usability, but also to give your car a high-tech look and offer a fun upgrade to your vehicle. Check out the specifications below.

Specifications

  • 6.2” screen display size
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Capacitive touchscreen
  • 5 background options
  • Brightness controls
  • Resolution of 800 x 400
  • LED backlit display
  • Color customizable
  • Includes navigation
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Compatible with Sirius XM
  • Pre-sets for both AM and FM available
  • iTunes compatible
  • USB port
  • Compatible with Pandora
  • Voice and wireless control
  • Compatible with MP3, AAC, FLAC, MPEG-2, JPEG, WMA, WAV, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, and WMV formats of audio and video
  • Built-in amplifier
  • AUX input
  • Mini-jack AV connection
Pros
  • Lack of CD slot provides for more support of modern streaming technologies and adds a light look to the unit
  • Size is carefully molded to double DIN standards and installs easily into all applicable vehicles
  • Advanced design works with all smartphones and is compatible with most popular streaming apps for audio and video
  • Apple Car Play connection provides for safer use of iPhones and even includes direct access to Siri
Cons
  • No CD slot available
  • Only five Bluetooth devices can connect to the stereo

Product # 2 – Sony XAV-AX100

Key Features

The Sony XAV receiver is actually Sony’s first double DIN receiver that is compatible with Apple Car Play. The company is starting off strong with a model that boasts many advantages and interesting features for the customer.

Many reviewers believe that the Sony XAV has one of the most seamless Apple Car Play integrations out there today. Sony XAV comes with a couple of hardware buttons to make common functions and resetting as easy as possible.

Specifications

  • Voice control and gesture recognition
  • 4 x 55-watt amplifier with minimal resistance
  • 10-band graphic equalizer
  • USB port
  • Rear view camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • AM and FM pre-sets available
  • Speed dial and recent calls pre-sets available
  • Phonebook access and sorting available
  • Phone batter level warning
  • Signal strength indicator
  • Call volume and ring volume indicator
  • White key illumination
  • 800 x 480 resolution
  • 800 x 480 resolution
  • Screen aspect 17:9
  • Rotary dial
  • Dynamic Stage Organizer
  • Parking control
  • Multi languages available
Pros
  • Offers an aesthetic mix between Apple and Android styles, compatible with both types of smartphones
  • Seamless integration with Apple Car Play that allows you to connect your iPhone with no concerns
  • Impressive user interface that feels sleek and easy to navigate
Cons
  • Resistive touchscreen which is less responsible and performs badly in bright light, often being covered in smudges or fingerprints
  • Combination of Sony and Apple screens makes the transitions less attractive

Product # 3 – JVC KW-M730BT

Key Features

JVC’s KW-M730BT car stereo model is another large, impressive Apple Car Play compatible product on the market today. Clocking in with a 6.8” display screen and viewing angle adjustment, this JVC stereo is one of the best for visibility and ease of use.

The brightness dimmer and white key illumination makes it easy for anyone in the car to see what’s going on and change the settings depending on what time of day it is.

This JVC model is well-known for having high-current charging, allowing your phone to charge quickly while you’re driving.
The high-resolution audio is particularly impressive, with 13-band graphic equalizers making your music echo less and equalizing the tones.

This product is great for vehicles with two drivers, since it offers connection for two smartphones rather than just one. No need to disconnect one phone before you connect the next one- it’s all automatic.

Specifications

  • 6.8” display screen
  • High-resolution audio
  • 13-band equalizer
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Rear view camera
  • Steering remote capabilities
  • Two USB ports
  • High current charging at 1.5A
  • Viewing angle adjustment
  • Clear resistive touchscreen
  • Monitor touch control
  • White key illumination
  • Screen brightness dimmer
  • Multiple languages available
  • Compatible with MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, FLAC, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and MKV
  • Hands-free calling
  • Connection available for up to two phones
  • Voice recognition and voice dialing
  • Phone book access and sorting
  • Auto pairing to smartphones
  • Compatible with Spotify, Sirius XM, and Pandora
  • Pre-set stations available for AM and FM
  • Mini jack AV input
  • RCA video output
  • Compatible with wireless remote control
Pros
  • Inputs of various forms allows for versatility and access no matter what format your media is in
  • Crisp, clear display with lighting fast connection
  • Boosts the sound quality of your vehicle’s speakers
  • Automatic pairing makes it stress-free and easy to start listening as soon as you hop into your vehicle
Cons
  • Freezes occasionally when using with Android Auto application
  • Some issues with random rebooting or freezing after use for several months

Product # 4 – Kenwood DMX7704S

Key Features

Kenwood’s Apple Car Play double DIN model is another frontrunner today. The clear resistive panel and LED backlighting makes the touch screen one of the easiest to use on the market.

Not to mention, the LCD screen display is a whopping 6.95 inches, one of the largest dashboard screens available. This unit includes connectivity for many different forms of media, including both audio and video. The built-in HD radio and connection to FM and AM radio makes listening to music a breeze. Not to mention, it is automatically ready to connect to your Spotify, Sirius XM, or Pandora apps through automatic Bluetooth.

Customers report this unit to be particularly easy to install, adding a sleek and tech-savvy look to their vehicles. The connection for two cameras is a great addition, allowing you to make use of both a rear parking camera and an optional dash camera.

Specifications

  • 6.95” Color LCD screen display
  • Screen includes LED backlighting
  • Clear resistive panel
  • Key illumination
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Built-in HD radio
  • Rapid charging for smartphones
  • Phone connection for up to two phones
  • Connection for two RCA parking or rear cameras
  • Mini jack AV input
  • FM and AM station pre-sets available
  • Connectivity with Sirius XM
  • USB ports, as well as connectivity for AAC, WWAV, WMV, JPEG and many other audio and video formats
  • Connectivity to Spotify and Pandora, as well as option for wireless music browsing
Pros
  • Impressive sound quality due to built-in amplifiers
  • Easy installation and aesthetic look to upgrade car
Cons
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling has ups and downs with sound and connectivity
  • Reported issues using Pandora on Apple Car Play
  • Reported issues with automatic phone connection

Product # 5 – Clarion NX706

Key Features

One of Clarion’s most popular new models, the Clarion NX706 offers a particularly large screen, clocking in at 6.95”. This large display makes it easy for everyone in the car to see the screen and makes it less of a distraction for drivers.

This unit is helpful when it comes to safety, offering an easy hands-free phone connection for calling and answering text messages. A 15-band graphic equalizer offers crisp, clear sound which is particularly advantageous for people who value high-quality sound systems.

The Clarion NX706 also comes in with a built-in navigation system that is easy to use and very user friendly. For those who frequently make use of navigation or GPS apps, this is a large advantage that brings all of your information and entertainment into one single product.

Specifications

  • Built-in navigation system
  • 6.95” screen display
  • 16:9 aspect ration
  • FM and AM radio connectivity
  • Hands-free phone connection
  • USB port
  • 15-band graphic equalizer with high quality sound
Pros
  • Versatile model that allows you to use many different forms of media
  • Navigation is useful and loads quickly
  • Bluetooth connection is seamless and quick
Cons
  • Reported issues with audio dropping after several months of use
  • Reported freezing with USB connections

The Final Verdict

So, what Apple Car Play car stereo should you really decide to purchase in the end? It’s true that there are so many options out there. Not to mention, they all have their own advantages and disadvantages to unpack. In the end, it really is all about your priorities. You can rest assured that whichever Apple Car Play stereo you purchase; it will satisfy the basic requirements like connecting to your phone. However, there are some products that go above and beyond, as well as some that offer different types of specifications. It’s a good idea to consider if all of your media is kept on your phone, or if you’re interested in using other formats like USB, micro SD, CDs, DVDs, AUX, and others. Some units reviewed above have reported issues after several months of use, so the final verdict has to recommend the Sony XAV model as the best overall. One of the only reported cons of this model is the resistive touch screen, although this is something easily dealt with compared to freezing or problems after a couple months of use.

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