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The Best Apple Carplay Stereos [2022]

best apple carplay stereo

Rocking the latest car stereo is a good thing but nothing beats having the perfect head unit that works seamlessly with your preferred software platform (Android Auto or Apple Carplay).

apple_car_play_stereo

Granted , most head units support both Carplay and Android Auto which is actually good , however , if you pay close attention , you will notice they perform better with one software and not-so-good with the other.

Car owners have put this into consideration when shopping for an aftermarket head unit and in this article , we’re going to reveal the best Apple Carplay Stereo based on our findings.

Also , if you’re looking for the perfect aftermarket head unit for your car , do have a look at our buyer’s guide on the top rated double din head units and high quality android auto head units.

1. Pioneer’s DMH-W4660NEX — Best Apple CarPlay Stereo in 2022

Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX Review

With Pioneer’s DMH-W4660NEX digital multimedia receiver, you can take your music and smartphone integration to the next level.

This sleek receiver comes with a 6.8″ capacitive touchscreen display, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

You’ll enjoy crystal-clear sound quality and robust functionality while driving, thanks to this receiver’s advanced features.

The Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX is the perfect choice for drivers looking to upgrade their car’s sound system. This head unit comes with Bluetooth connectivity, so you can easily make calls without taking your hands off the wheel. 

This powerful device features a 13-band graphic equalizer and other sound tools to give you maximum control over your audio signal. With three sets of preamp outputs, you can deliver an ultra-clean signal to additional amps for more power. Plus, switch to 3-way mode to unleash the highs, mids, and lows of your music.

Aren’t you tired of the same old entertainment options?

The DMH-W4660NEX Pioneer receiver offers an all-new way to experience your favorite music, podcasts, and radio stations. 

With built-in access to Pandora and Spotify through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Alexa, you’ll never have to worry about being bored again. 

Plus, the HD Radio tuner ensures that you’ll always have crystal-clear sound quality when listening to your favorite AM/FM stations. And for even more variety, add a SiriusXM tuner and enjoy access to hundreds of commercial-free channels.

Plus, it’s compatible with the iDatalink Maestro module, which lets you keep your vehicle’s factory features intact.

The Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX lets you take your parking experience to a whole new level. With a rear-view camera and the ability to adjust parking lines with ease, backing up in any crowded lot has never been easier. Plus, if you’d like to add a front-view camera, Pioneer makes it easy to convert using a video input for a second camera.

Pros

  • Wireless Apple Carlay & Android Auto are helpful in daily use
  • Easy to install
  • Fast Boot-up time
  • Bright Display, No Glaring Issue
  • Lots of setting to customize the audio

Cons

  • No Volume Knob, it is recommended to use steering wheel control with this head unit
  • Expensive

2. Sony XAV-AX5500 — Best Single Din CarPlay Stereo

Sony XAV-AX5500 review
Features:
  • Apple CarPlay2 and Android Auto 3 compatibility keep you connected on the road
  • Mirror and control selected smartphone appsMirror and control selected smartphone apps with Weblink Cast4
  • Ultra-Slim Bezel-less 6.95” capacitive touchscreen for aBezel-less 6.95” capacitive touchscreen for a seamless display
  • Dual USB ports let you connect a smartphone and USB device simultaneously
  • SiriusXM Ready
  • Reverse Camera Input
  • WebLink Compatible
  • Easy installation with a compact rear chassis
  • 5 volt Preout- 5 total pre outs with dedicated subchannel

 

The Sony XAVAX5500 is the perfect car stereo for anyone who wants an easy installation with a compact rear chassis. Despite its double-DIN display, the rear chassis is far smaller than conventional double-DIN units, making for much easier installation. Plus, there’s plenty of room for cabling and other accessories in the space behind the display.

The Sony XAVAX5500 is the perfect car stereo for any music lover. With its responsive 6.95″ touchscreen display, dual USB ports, and bezel-less 7″ flat mirror LCD display, this stereo provides a smooth and simple control experience for every journey. Plus, the clarity and color of the display is sure to impress drivers and passengers alike.

Sony-Xav-ax5500
Single din Chassis size which makes it easy to install in any vehicle

The XAVAX5500 has it all, with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. You can use Siri to give you directions or Google Maps for traffic updates.

This advanced model features Dynamic Reality Amp 2, which removes interference from music signals to ensure every note sounds clean and detailed. Plus, with three pre-outs you can easily add components of your choice, like extra amplifiers and subwoofers. 

The rear view camera ready feature also comes in handy – simply connect a rear camera and see what’s behind you on the screen. And for added safety, the customizable and removable guidelines help you back in safely.

Over 90% of data we gathered testified to the fact that this head unit works seamlessly with Carplay as they experienced no lag or issues with the software. Android lovers are also not left out as the XAV-AX5500 also supports Android Auto and its accompanying features.

There’s one thing to note though ; this head unit dosen’t offer wireless Carplay experience so you’ld have to plug-in your iPhone via a USB chord. However , if you’re all about wireless carplay , do have at look at our #1 or #3 recommendation on this list.

AX5500-review

Now asides from Apple Carplay , what else does XAV-AX1000 have to offer?

It’s form factor is also impressive even though it has a smaller profile compared to other products in this category. Given its size, it can squeeze into even the smallest dashboards.

The controls on the Sony XAV-AX5500 are on the sides making them easy to access without interfering with other dashboard controls.

Audiophiles will appreciate the 13-band equalizer with which you could customize your sound and have your clips boosted into different frequencies, the three outputs with which you could expand the sound setup using desired amplifiers and the dynamic stage organizer which creates virtual speakers on your dashboard.

It offers just 5 channels instead of the standard 6, and even though its highest maximum output is offered at 55 watts, its stereo’s preamp can only push 17watts per channel.

However, since it’s Sony, you know that you’re getting a trouble free device with quality control and one of the best customer support/guarantee.

Pros

  • Control and view everything with the 6.4″ touch screen Tuner features…
  • Get powerful sound with the 4 x 55 W Dynamic Reality Amp. Audio Level…
  • Create virtual speakers on your dashboard with the Dynamic Stage Organizer
  • Ergonomic rotary dial for distraction-free operation

Cons

  • No Wireless Android Auto, wireless CarPlay Support
  • Works with limited deices

Related Article: Best Apple CarPlay Stereo – HeadUnitAdvisor


3. BOSS BE950WCPA – Cheapest Wireless CarPlay Stereo

Features:
  • Apple CarPlay – Access icons on your iPhone by activating Siri voice controls the touchscreen. Available features include Phone, Music, Maps, Text messages, Radio, Podcasts, Audiobooks
  • Messages – With Siri on your side, you can ask her to read you your messages, reply as well as send them. Siri lets you concentrate on what matters most. Driving
  • Maps – Need gas? Hungry? Search along your route by asking Siri, and CarPlay will direct you every step of the way and tell you the speed limit too. Third-party navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze and Baidu are also available
  • Bluetooth – Make calls hands-free with the help of Siri. Play music apps like Spotify or Pandora as well as iTunes and Apple Music Subscription. Siri will be your DJ
  • Android Auto – Just say “Ok Google” and Google Assistant will help throughout your day. Get real-time alerts on Google Maps and Waze. Make calls, check your messages, reply back, use music apps, all while keeping your hands on the steering wheel
  • APPS: Rearrange how you want your apps to appear in CarPlay through the settings on your iPhone. Supported apps include WhatsApp, Radio Disney, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Podcasts, Google Play Music, CBS Radio and more
  • Inputs – USB, USB Charging, AUX, front/rear camera. The steering wheel interface allows you to use the existing functions on your steering wheel. Interface module sold separately. We recommend the Metra ASWC-1
  • Outputs – Use the front, rear & subwoofer pre-amp outputs to hook up your speakers (front left / front right and rear left / rear right) and subwoofer
  • Warranty – BOSS Audio Systems provides a powerful 3-year platinum online dealer warranty so long as the purchase is made through Amazon.com. We strongly encourage professional installation of this product to ensure proper and safe functionality

 

The BOSS (Audio Systems Elite Series BE950WCPA) offers Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes it perfect for the music lover who wants the best of both worlds. 

This stereo allows you to connect wirelessly to your smartphone and access all your favorite music apps like Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes. 

The capacitive touchscreen display makes it easy to navigate through your music library, while the multicolor illumination lets you customize the look of your car’s interior. And with support for high resolution FLAC files, you can enjoy CD-quality sound no matter what type of music you’re into.

With Bluetooth technology, you can control music apps and make calls hands-free. Plus, the USB port lets you charge USB devices while you’re on the go. The AV in allows you to hook up an external DVD player or a camera, and the AM/FM radio station is sure to have something for everyone.

The large, capacitive touchscreen monitor in your new car will make it easy to select all of the CarPlay related icons as well any other settings or configurations. With Siri voice controls you can get directions; look for points-of-interest (POI’s); check messages while keeping hands on wheel and eyes focused straight ahead – all without having to take away attention from driving!

Pros

  • The wireless Apple CarPlay works flawlessly
  • The sound quality is great, you will lots of option to customize the audio in settings.
  • Capacitive display makes it easy to use the touchscreen without applying any pressure

Cons

  • Android Auto works only with limited selected phones
  • Bright display , but it won’t be too distracting in the dark.

4. Alpine iLX-W650 – Another great option

Features:
  • (1) Alpine iLX-W650 7″ Shallow Car Digital Media Bluetooth Receiver CarPlay/Android. (1) Alpine KTA-450 400w 4-Channel Power Pack Amplifier Behind Radio/GloveBox Amp. ALPINE iLX-W650 7″ Shallow Car Digital Media Bluetooth Receiver CarPlay/Android. 7 anti-glare capacitive touch screen. Audio, video and Bluetooth feature set. Two-finger swipe user interface. Works with Apple CarPlay
  • Works with Android Auto and the Google Assistant. SiriusXM-Ready (SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately; SiriusXM subscription required). Works with Pandora Music for iPhone and Android phones. Rear camera input (camera sold separately). FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/HE-AAC music playback via USB. Compatible with the KTA-450 Power Pack Amplifier (sold separately) via PowerStack installation
  • The iLX-W650 used with the KTA-450 is a 2019 CES Innovation Awards Winner. Specifications: Compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls (adapter required). USB port accommodates various devices and thumb drivesxternal microphone included. Built-in amplifier (16 watts RMS/40 peak x 4 channels). CTA-2006 compliant. Features:
  • ALPINE KTA-450 400w 4-Channel Power Pack Amplifier Behind Radio/GloveBox Amp. Compact size, measuring just 7 W x 3.5 H x 1.25 D. Class D amplifier circuit. Dynamic Peak Power (DPP) technology doubles the power during dynamic musical passages. PowerStacking bracket included for mounting to the iLX-W650 7 Mech-less AV Receiver (sold separately)
  • The KTA-450 used with the iLX-W650 is a 2019 CES Innovation Awards Winner. Specifications: Power Rating: 100W Peak x 4 (2/4 Ohm, 14.4V, ?1% THD+N). CTA-2006 Power Rating: 45W RMS x 4 (2/4 Ohm, 14.4V, ?1% THD+N). >82dB S/N (ref. 1W into 4 Ohm)

 

The next best apple carplay stereo is Alpine’s ILX-107 which is a major upgrade on the legacy ILX-007. Like previous models , the ILX-017 specializes in providing a native and intuitively designed interactive experience that Apple users are quite familiar with.

This specialization has limited the versatility of Alpine as they don’t support any other Operating System asides Apple Carplay. However, their focus on this particular system has given them a significant credit in terms of stereo unit wireless connection. This is a very convenient feature as you don’t necessarily have to use a USB cable to connect to your phone.

Apart from its seamless wireless connection capacity which apparently is its selling point, the interface is also easy to use. The 7-inch screen stereo unit has responsive capacitive volume buttons on the bezel which works for both calls and music volume control.

Oddly, the screen itself could be a bit fussy, but this flaw is compensated by the other host of features it has to offer including the HD Radio, satellite radio, color choice selection and its capacity to pair with up to 5 phones over Bluetooth connection.

Even with this compensation, it’s a bit pricey. However, if your major need is to get seamless wireless connection to your phone with all the features , then the Alpine ILX-107 is the go-to device.

Pros

  • digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner (does not play CDs)
  • built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • 7″ capacitive touchscreen
  • designed specifically to work wirelessly with App. Built-in 5Ghz Wi-Fi for…
  • enjoy music apps like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify

Cons

  • High Price
  • Installation may takes some time

5. Pioneer AVH-3400NEX  – Other Best Single Din Head Unit with Carplay

Features:
  • Motorized Display
  • Compatible With Apple Carplay, Android, Auto, Appradio, Mode +, Flac Audio, Spotify & Pandora Internet Radio
  • Siri Eyes Free With Compatible IPhone
  • Music Streaming & Hands-free Calling With Compatible, Bluetooth – enabled Devices
  • 1.5a USB Port

 

Looking for a car stereo with all the features but don’t have the space for a large touchscreen receiver? Look no further than the Pioneer AVH-3400NEX DVD receiver. This unit gives you a 7″ motorized and retractable screen, plus all of the connectivity options you need to keep your music and phone calls flowing while on the go. With Pioneer’s AVH-3400NEX, you’ll have everything you need to make your driving experience that much more enjoyable.

 With this receiver, you can plug in your phone and take charge of your music, navigation, and more from three cool interfaces. Plus, the Pioneer AVH-3400NEX is packed with features that will make your driving experience more enjoyable than ever before. Don’t miss out on the Pioneer AVH-3400NEX!

With Pioneer’s AVH-3400NEX, you can have the CarPlay experience that you’ve always wanted. Plug in your iPhone and you’ll have access to a user-friendly interface that lets you quickly jump into your music, podcasts, messages, and more. You’ll be able to hit the road with ease and safety with this product.

This powerful unit features a bright and colorful VGA display that lets you customize your home screen to fit your needs. With just a touch, you can switch between your favorite sources, letting you focus on the road ahead and not on fiddling with your stereo.

The Pioneer AVH-3400NEX multimedia receiver lets you control your Pandora and Spotify accounts from the receiver, making it easy to enjoy your music. It also supports hands-free calling and wireless streaming from up to five different phones. Plus, with Siri Eyes Free support for iPhone, you can take advantage of voice commands through your car’s audio system.

The Pioneer AVH-3400NEX is an excellent car audio receiver that lets you enjoy all your favorite music, movies, and television shows while on the go. Its clear LCD display provides a great viewing experience for passengers, and its built-in SiriusXM tuner gives you access to a wealth of great programming options.

Built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free talking and audio streamingMP3/WMA/AAC/MP4/FLAC/DSD/H. 264/WMV/ MPEG1/MPEG2/MPEG4/AVI/MKV/JPEG/PNG/BMP…3 Sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer) + Rear USB InputApple Car Play android Auto built-inAM/FM tuner with 15FM/5AM presets | Remote Included

Pros

  • This receiver fits easily in any small chassis vehicle
  • Works with backup Camera
  • Impressive touchscreen 
  • The great quality of this stereo is crystal clear and loud.

Cons

  • No HD Radio
  • Expensive
  • Resistive display

Buyers Guide – What should be your considerations?

Throughout the reviews, we have specified the major strengths and weakness of the products, making it quite easy for you to choose according to the features that really interest you. However, shutting your eyes to the other necessities would invariably cost you your convenience in the nearest future (after purchase).

Take your time to go through these buying considerations and redefine your focus towards a healthier plan to get a cost-effective option that also supports your more particular interest.

OS Integration

Most devices are more particular to certain mobile phone operating systems, thereby putting a lid on versatility as it seems. There’s no doubting that the Apple operating system has more impressive features, but when you take a more considerable look at the progress of mobile devices over the years, you’ll notice that Android and other Operating systems are not very far behind. Therefore, whichever device you intend to choose, make sure that it at least supports Android Auto too in addition to the most primary operating system – Apple Carplay.

Connectivity

The use of wired connections from your phone to your car stereo is quite old and less convenient. A more developed, mature and more convenient adaptation is the ability to connect any phone seamlessly and wirelessly to the stereo device. Not only is it more convenient, but in a way, it also increases the versatility of the device as you can have any device connect to it without battling with cords and USB spaces.

Display

Simply put, the least acceptable screen size is 6.5 inches of sensitive screen, with a 480 resolution supporting a 16:9 ratio. Also, the illumination should at least be a LED backlit technology as it consumes less power from the cars power source and is less likely to have glitches.

Amplifier

Most of the vehicle users interested in stereo devices are audiophiles and having less than a commendable audio output is just unacceptable. Whichever device you eventually choose must have a solid input amplifier for better sound output. The power provision should be no less than 4 channels compared to the standard 6 and nothing less than 15 watts compared to the maximum being 20 watts.

Having considered these, you can then be specific about the quality of the navigation system, the sensitivity of the touchscreen, radio adaptation, connection to cameras and other back seat display units.

Some other Great Recommendations:

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX: Great option in Wireless CarPlay Stereo, However, it is quite expensive.

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX Double Din Wireless Mirroring Android Auto, Apple Carplay In-Dash DVD/CD Car Stereo Receiver (Electronics)
Features:
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Works with wireless and wired Apple Car Play and Android Auto
  • Works with SiriusXM SXV300 Tuner — supports tune mix, traffic & weather now, and sports flash features

 

Pioneer DMH-1500NEX: Apple CarPlay Stereo under $500

Pioneer DMH-1500NEX Digital Media Receiver with 7
Features:
  • Apple CarPlay Compatible
  • Android Auto Compatible
  • WebLink Compatible
  • Navigation Ready
  • Works with Pandora, SiriusXM Ready
  • supported internet services: PandoraSiriusXMSpotify
  • display size: 7.0
  • connectivity technology: BluetoothAuxillary

 

Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX 10.1″ Single Din Car Stereo. The cost of this head unit is super high.

Pioneer DMH-WT8600NEX 10.1
Features:
  • Detachable Face Security: Fixed
  • Remote Control: Included
  • Multi-language Display
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • 2006 CEA Compliant: Yes

 

Sony XAV-AX8000:1DIN chassis 8.95” floating LCD screen with Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Media Receiver

Sony XAV-AX8000 1DIN chassis 8.95” floating LCD screen with Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Media Receiver with Bluetooth (Electronics)
Features:
  • Oversized touchscreen- A huge anti-glare 8 95-Inch (22 7 cm) display gives you more intuitive and safer control over music playback and smartphone functions
  • Apple CarPlay- easily access the iPhone features you know and love just by talking to Siri Music maps phone calls and messages are all under your control
  • Multiple customization options let you adapt the audio experience to your liking And with the built-in 4 x 55 w amplification music sounds clear even at high volumes
  • Three-way adjustable mount- The sturdy mount adjusts in three directions enabling flexible installation
  • Rear view Camera ready-have a rear camera installed? View its feed through the screen along with customizable guidelines that help you back in safely
  • Build your own sound system- with three five-volt pre-outs you can add components of your choice like extra amplifiers and subwoofers

 

SJOYBRING Car Multimedia Player with Apple CarPlay

Double Din Car Stereo Compatible with Voice Control Apple Carplay - 7 Inch HD LCD Touchscreen Monitor, Bluetooth, Subwoofer, USB/SD Port, A/V Input, AM/FM Car Radio Receiver, Backup Camera
Features:
  • Compatible with Apple Carplay & State of The Art Voice Control – This double din car stereo compatible with Apple CarPlay just connect with your smart phone that make it possible for you to access map navigation, phone contacts, email, notification, music and more. It features the latest voice control technology, allowing you to make phone calls, navigate, play music with the help of an intelligent voice assistant, while keeping your hands free for totally safe driving maneuvers!
  • Phone Mirror Link Function & HD Touch Screen – Compatible with almost all of android and IOS phones for mirror link function, use the USB connection to sync your smartphone to the big screen and enjoy the full features such as maps, movies and more! Features with resolution 1024*600 7 inch HD touch screen, support 1080P video playback.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 & Enhanced Listening Experience – Answer your important phone calls without distracting your attention from the road with the JOY-D006 which features a hands-free bluetooth system, allowing for easy smartphone pairing! ( built-in clear mic and equipped with external mic jack) Wireless audio stream via bluetooth which provides a stable connectivity to your smartphone or bluetooth device, JOY-D006 allows you to enjoy a superior music listening experience!
  • Rear & Front View Camera – Parking has never been easier with this premium double din car stereo which supports front and rear camera, comes with a built-in rear view camera supporting HD night-vision images for a safer and time-efficient experience! Simply shift into reverse and the system powers on the camera automatically, for optimal visibility no matter the weather conditions!
  • Vehicle Fit – 100% standard size, rich ports, It can meet the needs of most cars and is a perfect match. (NOTE: please confirm that your dash opening size is suitable before ordering, if not, you need to buy a suitalble dash kit.) Extral features( Pre-amp and subwoofer outputs, steering wheel controls, Built-in preset and 16-band EQ, 7 color LED buttons, ID3 tag, USB charging option, Working Voltage: DC 12V, Max power output: 4x 60W)

 

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