A stereo, also known by several other names like a receiver, radio, head unit, etc., is the most important audio accessory in a car. After it fits well in the interior panels of your car, the stereo looks amazing and performs a crucial role.
One cannot imagine long drives and traveling hours without a good car stereo. Since these days Android stereos are more in demand, let’s discuss the best android car stereo options you have.
With time, the structure and functions of car stereos have also changed. In a world more or less dominated by Android devices, introducing the software in the car stereos was the need of the hour.
An option to use those apps on a stereo that was previously only accessible on a smartphone is a valuable addition to a high-utility car electronic accessory.
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Android Auto In Car Stereos
A stereo is an accessory which we use extensively and spend a lot of our time on, fiddling with it. When Google introduced the Android Auto software that could help you access Android features in a car stereo, the technology was embraced with open arms by all-acoustic manufacturers worldwide.
An improved stereo experience was what everyone was waiting for. It is the reason why most car owners are keen on knowing more about Android car stereos than the traditional ones.
Since it is a new concept for almost all of us, it can be a little tricky to select the best unit from a plethora of options available out there. Read the article carefully to gather relevant information that can help you choose a good Android stereo.
Top 9 Best Android Car Stereos 2021
The Hikity 10.1 Inch Android Car Stereo with GPS is a 7-inch modern Android stereo that has the latest Android operating system with 2GB RAM and a quad-core processor. The car stereo has an internal 16 GB flash memory.
The processor works smoothly, and this model provides a faster response compared to its predecessor. While the installation size of the unit is 7-inches, it has a large 10-inch capacitive touch screen, which has an excellent resolution as the display is 1024 by 600 pixels.
This Android car stereo comes with a built-in Wi-Fi and GPS receiver. It means that you can easily connect the stereo with your home or office Wi-Fi. You can even use your mobile phone’s hotspot for using the internet in this Android car stereo.
The software and interface of this car stereo are highly efficient, and you can use it to download all prominent apps like Google Maps very quickly. Overall, it is a great product that has shown excellent results for many users till now.
The ATOTO A6 Double Din Android Car Navigation Stereo with Dual Bluetooth is an Android car stereo developed for the Marshmallow operating system. It can be installed in almost all car models, and you can customize the features extensively. Besides the available customizable options, you get the regular vehicle-based radio features like FM, AM, Bluetooth, etc.
Like traditional car stereos, this Android stereo does not have a DVD player. However, you get a steering wheel key control, making it very easy for you to control the stereo while driving. This steering wheel key control is made with advanced technology to work on resistive signal inputs. The stereo has excellent Wi-Fi reception with an in-built microphone. This means that you can enjoy a very smooth hands-free talking experience once you get the ATOTO A6 Double Din Android Car Navigation Stereo with Dual Bluetooth installed.
The EinCar Store Car Radio Double Din Android 10.0 Car Stereo is another high-quality Android car stereo with a very responsive touch screen. You get to use the Android 10.0 version with this stereo. It has been technically optimized and is updated from time to time. With the latest updates, the customer gets a lot of modern, customizable features as well.
The regular multimedia radio and Bluetooth features work very smoothly in this unit. With the Android interface, you also get to install apps from an available database of millions of applications on the Google Play Store.
The Android car stereo has an external microphone to facilitate hands-free calling. The microphone is of superior quality, and you get a very clear sound transmission with it.
Moreover, you also get a free backup camera installed with this car stereo, which helps a lot when you are reversing the car and prevents accidents as well. Overall, it is a great Android car stereo that supports 4G internet networks and works very smoothly. The fast interface response is a highlight of the EinCar Store Car Radio Double Din Android 10.0 Car Stereo.
The Jensen CAR68 6.8 inch LED Digital Multimedia Touch Screen Double DIN Car Stereo is a simple Android car stereo with a high-quality LED touch screen display. The screen offers an excellent resolution that provides a comfortable display experience to the user. The touch response is smooth and quick so that you can switch between your favorite content easily.
The stereo supports Google’s Android Auto app and is also compatible with Apple Carplay. Moreover, you can avail the service of Apple’s voice assistant Siri for managing calls, playlists, settings, etc.
The high-resolution screen helps you in viewing Google Maps with more clarity. By using Siri or Google’s voice assistant, you get audio commands and directions too. Hence, this Android car stereo will help you in navigating your way to the destination quite easily.
As the name suggests, the BOSS Audio Systems BVCP9685A Apple CarPlay Android Auto Car Multimedia Player is a stereo that is compatible with the two most popular automotive android apps- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Technically, it is the most robust Android stereo because it was developed to cater to the most common interfaces. Other than these two apps, people have reported some problems while operating this stereo. Otherwise, the performance has been spectacular in most cases.
The stereo is accompanied by a backup camera that automatically turns off every other running program when you are reversing the car to display a live picture on the screen. It helps ensure safety at all times, and the picture-quality captured by the camera is also very superior.
Almost all the apps you can access using the Google Play Store on your smartphone are available on the Android car stereo. If you are using the Apple Carplay app, the iOS apps that are exclusively meant for car stereos can be used. The most popular supported apps include- Google Play Music, Amazon, WhatsApp, CBS Radio, Disney, etc.
The Hikity Store Double Din Android Car Stereo with GPS is another great Android stereo option sold by the Hikity Store. While the regular Android stereo features work very well, the stereo has many unique features. These include high-temperature protection, scratch prevention, anti-knock features, and many others like these.
Even if you do not wish to download the Google Maps app, you can still use the Android stereo’s navigational facilities. It is possible because this stereo has a built-in GPS that provides offline maps. However, once you are connected to a WiFi network or a mobile Hotspot, you can easily access online navigation support.
You also get a special backup camera with this Android car stereo. Moreover, the backup camera is attached to the trigger line. Therefore, as soon as you start reversing the car, other programs on the stereo screen will stop, and you will automatically see the image from the back-end.
The manufacturer offers special technical support and service to keep this backup camera working efficiently. A good backup camera is necessary for modern-day drivers to ensure better road safety.
The BOSS Audio Systems BV9358B Android Stereo with Car DVD Player combines the best qualities of traditional and modern car stereos. While this unit has all the important features of an Android stereo, you also get the traditional car DVD player with it.
As stated before, most of the Android stereos available in the market today have done away with the CD player option. It is because many people do not find the CD player option necessary.
However, for those users who have a great collection of DVDs, the feature is as essential as any other crucial function that the stereo can perform.
So, with the 6.2 inch LCD touchscreen of the BOSS Audio Systems BV9358B Android Stereo with Car DVD Player, you can use the Android apps and play your good-old DVD collection without needing separate units. You can use all common input methods like Aux, USB, SD, etc., with this car stereo.
You get a rear camera, steering wheel control, USB charging facility, and much more with the BOSS Audio Systems BV9358B Android Stereo with Car DVD Player.
Overall, it is a great Android car stereo that you can use to stream any app or program you want. The conventional DVD player option makes it a complete package used by car owners of all generations.
The GoNec MoDrive Android 8.1 with Gorilla Glass IPS Display Universal Car Stereo is the most durable Android car stereo on this list. Protected by a strong gorilla glass cover, the unit supports the Android Auto app. Popular alternatives for Google’s Android Auto are also compatible with this stereo.
Although its durability makes it an excellent car stereo, this unit’s only shortcoming is the absence of a backup camera. So, if you purchase this Android car stereo, you will have to get a backup camera installed separately.
Although it is not mandatory to have a backup camera for using all features of the GoNec MoDrive Android 8.1 with Gorilla Glass IPS Display Universal Car Stereo, it is advised that you should have one for additional safety.
The Hypersonic AAA Full Touch CAR Music System with LED Camera Car Stereo is another complete package for Android car stereos. You get almost all the features that one expects from a Highland Android stereo at a very affordable price.
Hypersonic is a reliable name in this domain, and their new Android car stereos have shown excellent results. Thus, if you wish to buy a modern car stereo, you can consider the Hypersonic AAA Full Touch CAR Music System.
Facilities In Android Stereos
Android Auto is an app or an interface that was designed by Google specifically for cars. If your car stereo supports Android Auto, you can access many apps like Google Maps, WhatsApp, etc., on the stereo screen itself.
1. Google Maps
Getting the facilities of Google Maps navigation on the screen is a boon for car drivers. Getting voice guidance while your full attention is focused on the road helps you find your destination easily. Besides, visualizing live traffic information on the stereo screen gives you a great idea about the routes you can take while driving.
People who have used this feature on an Android car stereo suggest that Google Maps serves the purpose better when used in this manner. Getting navigation details on the small smartphone screen is good, but many feel that it sometimes interferes with driving.
2. Music Options
From the good old days when the term ‘deck’ was in fashion till today, the most important use of a stereo remains accessing music on the go. While there were already many car stereos that enhanced this experience, Android stereos significantly add to this feature.
They let you use the music apps you regularly enjoy on your smartphones. Thus, to get a broader range of options in music, switch to an Android stereo today.
3. Messaging Apps
An Android stereo will also help you stay connected with people while you are driving. The hands-free experience of using calling and messaging apps is a great facility these stereos provide you with.
Today, almost all the Android stereos available in the market are compatible with WhatsApp. While many other messaging apps are being added to the Android Auto software, most people are more than happy only to get the WhatsApp service in their car.
4. Voice Assistant
You must have used the Google voice control assistant and the voice guide available in Google Maps. The same technology has been incorporated in Android Auto, which helps you get voice assistance for all apps compatible with the software.
While the number of compatible apps can vary in different Android stereos, the quality of the voice assistant, powered by technology developed at Google, is extremely good. Thus, it adds another valuable feature in Android stereos that makes life easier for regular drivers.
Factors To Consider
Here are certain factors that you should consider before you finalize an Android stereo for your vehicle.
1. Screen Size
The size of the screen of an Android stereo is of prime importance because even though every Android stereo will help you access important apps, it will be difficult for you to use them if the display is not big enough. The point of providing Android software facilities in a car stereo is to make things easier for the driver.
Therefore, if the screen size is not large enough for the driver to access and view these apps with ease, there will be no use in switching to an Android stereo for the car. In general, an Android car stereo having a screen size between 6 to 7 inches will be ideal for every car model. Depending on other features, you can go for larger screen sizes as well.
2. Steering Control Panel
If you have purchased a non-android car stereo recently, it may have dedicated car steering control switches as well. These switches were an update that was introduced to make the handling of stereos easier for the driver. However, for Android stereos, the number and kind of steering wheel switches have to be different.
So, before you finalize an Android stereo for your car, check the Android stereo’s steering panel options. While it is not necessary to have the steering panel for using Android stereos, it will certainly make handling the stereo easier for you.
3. Wireless Connectivity
Wireless connectivity is one of the two most crucial components of an Android car stereo. Besides having the standard USB connection options, Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi connection options should also be present in a good Android car stereo. Having used smartphones for a long time, you must know how beneficial it is to have wireless connectivity.
Moreover, having wireless connections like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc., minimizes the presence of wires around the dashboard. It gives more free space around the driver’s seat and prevents it from getting messy.
While all Android car stereos have the same basic software, the interface present in every device will be different. Thus, you should assess the interface well before you choose an Android stereo for your car. For doing so, you should check whether there are direct buttons present on the panel to access apps and features that are important for you.
There should be more intuitive controls that help in minimizing the need for frequent user involvement. These controls will enable you to keep your hands on the steering and not fiddle with the stereo controls more often. If you look at the bigger picture, these controls are crucial for the driver’s safety as well.
5. Installation Features
When you are searching for the best Android car stereos, look at the mounting details of the unit. It will tell you about the mounting kit you will need to fit the stereo in your car.
Usually, the smaller Android stereo units available in the market are of the single DIN size. The largest models that are available for cars, commonly double in height than the smaller ones, are of the double-DIN size.
If you are installing the Android stereo yourself, it will be better to choose the smaller ones because they are easy to fix and install. If professional help is available, you can go for any size best suited for the space available on your car’s interior panels.
Price and affordability is always a key factor when you are thinking of buying any car stereo. Certain brands have been manufacturing acoustic equipment for cars for many years now.
They are reliable brands that have been producing high-quality products. However, in most cases, these units are costly.
The other factors that we have mentioned until now play an important role when you are skeptical about the prices. If the stereo is affordable and has most of the features we have mentioned, it will be safe to install it in your car.
Moreover, the Android stereos on our list above are also quite affordable, and their prices are not as daunting as many other units. So, you can choose anyone among these, as they have a reasonable price along with several superior features.
It is probably the least important factor for buying an Android car stereo. In most cases, it might not even be a factor to consider. However, if the color of the stereo matters to you, you can check the available colors of a particular model on the manufacturer’s official website.
Best Android Car Stereos – The Conclusion
We have discussed some of the best android car stereos available in the market. Today, almost all Android car stereos have Bluetooth connectivity and touchscreen features.
However, every manufacturer remains keen on introducing new updates to the existing models, making it difficult for the customer to judge as to which one will be best suited for their car.
You can use this buyer’s guide to make the best decision and buy the most suitable Android car stereo for your car.
FAQs on Android Car Stereos
Are Android Car Stereos Any Good?
If an Android smartphone has been beneficial for you, an Android stereo will also make your life easier. There are no major differences from a regular car stereo when it comes to audio quality and output.
You can expect a decent performance. However, with the addition of new software and interface, these stereos have a lot more to offer to the driver. So, an Android car stereo is definitely worth it.
How Can I Use Android On A Car Stereo?
As stated before, Google has launched an app for cars called Android Auto. The app enables you to access Android services in a car stereo. However, it is essential for the stereo installed in your car to be compatible with the Android Auto app to use these services.
Simply check the settings and network connections option in your car stereo, and you will know whether the stereo supports Android auto or not.
Is Android Auto Free?
To use Android services, you will need to download the Android Auto app from the Play Store. It is a free app. However, the compatibility of the app depends on the model of the car stereo that you have.
If the model does not support the latest version of the app, you will not be able to use the software in your car. Once you install this app, you will get all Android features and apps at no extra cost.
Is There An Alternative To Android Auto?
Android Auto is probably the safest option that you have to access Android services in your car. However, it is not the only option available. As an alternative, people suggest that AutoMate works just as well as Android Auto.
It provides a decent dashboard software option to you and works well for almost all major Android stereos available in the markets. Just like Android Auto, you should first check the compatibility of the stereo with this app. Only if it supports the latest version of the app can you run it on the unit.
Can You Play Netflix On Android Auto?
Android auto provides a plethora of options to the user when it comes to Android apps. These options are being updated every now and then. Recently, Netflix introduced a version of its app for Android Auto. So, if you have a valid Netflix account, you can watch movies and shows using this Android Auto app version while traveling in your car.
Can I Use Android Auto Without USB?
Initially, when Google launched Android Auto, it could only be used once you connected a USB cable with the stereo. However, Google has introduced wireless connectivity features recently. For that, you will need to activate the wireless settings of the Android Auto app. Some suggest that the wireless mode is much better than the USB mode.