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The Best Apple CarPlay Stereo: Our Top 5 Picks for 2022

Best Apple CarPlay Stereo
What’s the Best Apple CarPlay Stereo for 2022?

Are you looking for a new Apple CarPlay stereo?

If yes, then let me tell you there are tons of head units available on the market offering built-in CarPlay features. However, most of them are trash, and completely a waste of money.

In order to help you, our team did research to find top Apple CarPlay stereos that are actually the best to buy in 2022.

We have ranked these CarPlay Stereos in terms of their:

  • Functionalities
  • Power
  • Design
  • Responsive Touchscreen
  • Affordable Price
  • Easy Installation
  • Fast Boot-time
  • Better Hands-Free Calling

We Pick both types such as Double Din as well as Single Din touchscreen. So, it advised to pick the right unit for your vehicle as well as your needs.

So, without further ado, let’s find out the top 5 of the best Apple CarPlay Stereos available today!

1. Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX – The Overall Best Wireless Apple CarPlay Stereo

DMH-W4660NEX Review

If you’re looking for a head unit that has all the features of the latest smartphones, the Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX is perfect for you. 

Key Features

  • Capacitive Touchscreen Display – This double din stereo comes with a 6.8” Capacitive touchscreen display, which offers bright and color images, also the touch response of this stereo is sensitive.
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto – The Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX is a great car stereo that allows you to use Apple Carplay, Android Auto Wireless, or Amazon Alexa. With a wireless connection or a wired connection through USB, the DMH-W4660NEX is compatible with many different devices.
  • Built-in 13 Band EQ – The Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX gives you the power to fine-tune your sound like never before. With its 13-band graphic equalizer and other sound tools, you can create an audio experience that’s perfect for your ears. Plus, with three sets of preamp outputs, you can easily add more amps for even more power.
  • HD Radio Tuner – The HD Radio tuner lets your listen with improved clarity and detail from AM/FM frequencies; add in a SiriusXM receiver so that all their programming can be accessed by simply plugging it into the rear USB input – there’s even space dedicated just  for those high resolution FLAC or DSD files if music is what really turns us off during our commute hours!
  • Great Bluetooth Connection – The Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX lets you keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while you make calls. With Bluetooth, you can easily stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks too.
  • iDatalink Maestro Compatible – It offers compatibility with the iDatalink Maestro module (not included), which lets you keep your factory features intact. Plus, the wide selection of compatible vehicles makes it easy to find one that will work for your car.
  • Phone swapping – With phone swapping, you can easily plug in the phone you want to use without having to choose a particular input or adjust menu settings. Plus, with built-in Amazon Alexa, you can access music, audiobooks, news, weather, traffic, and smart home controls using your voice.
  • Dual Backup Camera input – With the additional input, you can easily add a second camera and get a better view of what’s happening around your car. Whether you need to keep an eye on your tow vehicle or just want an alternate rearview, this product is perfect for you.
Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX - inside the box content
Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX – inside the box content
Pros
  • The touchscreen is quite responsive and bright even in day light
  • Apple CarPlay & Auto work wirlessly which is helpful in daily use
  • Easy to use, due to its simple and impressive interface
  • The sound quality is clear and loud , also there are multiple settings available to customize the audio
  • The hands free calling also works great
Cons
  • No CD/DVD player
  • Bit Expensive
  • No physical volume knob

2. Sony XAV-AX5500 – Best Single Din Apple CarPlay

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

 

Our Second best Apple CarPlay stereo is from Sony.

The Sony XAV-AX5500 is the perfect car stereo for those who want all of the latest features without sacrificing any space.

Key Features

  • Impressive Display –  With a 6.95″ capacitive touchscreen, handy buttons for quick control, and a compact chassis that makes installation very convenient, this unit has everything you need to stay entertained on the road.
  • Compact Design – This sleek unit doesn’t have a disc player, but that’s actually its advantage: its compact design means it can fit into spaces other receivers can’t. And with its large 4″ screen, the XAV-AX5500 is perfect for anyone who wants all their music at their fingertips.
  • Easy to Use -The stereo’s controls behave just like your phone’s interface, so there is no learning curve. Plus it comes with everything you need – all that has to be plugged into an Android or iPhone device! You’ll get access not only navigation on demand but also calls and messages through the music player app as well- making this car even smarter than most cars today already are!.
  • 10 Band Graphic Equalizer – This receiver features a 10-band graphic equalizer and Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) to create virtual speakers on your dash, giving you an improved soundstage.  
  • Dual USB – This amazing unit features two USB inputs, so you can keep your phone charged and access your files on the go. It also supports FLAC audio files and a variety of video formats, making it perfect for any media lover. 
  • Preamp Outs – The XAV-AX5000 includes 5-volt front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs, making it easy to add amplifiers to your system. Plus, with its clear and natural sound, the Sony XAV-AX5500 is sure to impress.
Pros
  • Easy Installation due to premade wiring harness
  • Great Display and Sound Quality
  • Numerous settings to customize the audio such as low pass, high pass and custom EQ
  • Physical Volume and skip buttons
Cons
  • You can’t change the order of icons on Home Screen
  • The Price is little higher than other stereos

3. Kenwood DMX4707S – Other Best Apple CarPlay Stereo

Features:
  • Apple CarPlay is a safer way to use your iPhone in the car. Simply talk to Siri or touch the receiver’s display to get directions from Apple Maps, make phone calls, listen to voicemail, send and receive texts, and listen to music from Apple Music or your favorite 3rd party streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. With the latest iOS version (iOS 12.0 and higher), 3rd party navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze are also supported
  • Android Auto was designed with safety in mind, helping you to minimize distractions and stay focused on the road. KENWOOD’s multimedia receivers combine an intuitive voice controlled interface with a large touch screen and superior sound quality, making it the perfect complement for your in-car life. You can even listen to and control music from your favorite streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. Navigate to where you need to with Google Maps or Waze
  • Using the Mirroring OA for Kenwood app, you can mirror the content from your Android (OS 7.0+) smartphone onto the touchscreen monitor of the Kenwood DMX4707S, you’ll be able to enjoy video and audio playback. Your compatible Android smartphone must be connected to the DMX4707S via USB and Bluetooth. In addition to mirroring content from your Android smartphone, you’ll also be able to control your Android device from the in-dash receiver’s touchscreen
  • Rear View Camera Input with Parking Guide Lines – An optional rear view camera enhances safety while backing up and monitoring behind your vehicle. Built-in, adjustable parking guidelines further add to its effectiveness. 13 Band Graphic EQ and Time Alignment – Use the graphic equalizer to tailor the sound quality to your unique tastes. Additional sound staging is available with the Time Alignment feature, designed to provide optimal sound performance
  • The Kenwood DMX4707S features a fixed 6.8″ widescreen capacitive touchscreen LCD with LED backlighting. The LCD touchscreen has a resolution of 800 (H) x 480 (V) x RGB with 1,152,000 total pixels. The capacitive touchscreen LCD provides a high contrast ratio, crystal clear display, and vivid text as well as highly responsive touchscreen operation

 

Our third best Apple CarPlay stereo is from Kenwood.

The DMX4707S from Kenwood is a great receiver for those who want the convenience of Apple CarPlay. With its fixed 6.8″ widescreen capacitive touchscreen LCD, you’ll enjoy a high contrast ratio, crystal clear display, and vivid text. Plus, the capacitive touchscreen LCD provides a highly responsive touchscreen so you can easily control your music, phone calls, and more.

Key Features

  • Voice Control – This multimedia receiver offers an intuitive voice controlled interface, large touchscreen monitor, and superior sound quality. You can also use the Mirroring OA for Kenwood app to mirror the content from your Android smartphone onto the touchscreen display. With Google Maps or Waze, you’ll be able to navigate to where you need to go with ease.
  • Backup Camera Support – The Kenwood DMX4707S is a great car stereo for those who want to improve their safety while driving. The rear view camera input with parking guide lines makes backing up much easier and safer.
  • Built-in EQ  – 13 band graphic EQ and time alignment allows you to customize the sound quality to your own preferences. With this stereo, you can have a great driving experience while keeping yourself and your passengers safe.
  • Phone mirroring – With True Mirroring via USB, you can easily see and control your phone right on the screen of the head unit. Plus, it comes with SiriusXM Radio so you can access additional music, sports and entertainment content while on the go. And if that wasn’t enough, the DMX4707S also supports FLAC files and Full HD video playback from USB devices! So whether you’re looking to keep yourself entertained on long road trips or just want easier access to your music and videos, this is the perfect product for you.
Pros
  • Touchscreen is quite sensitive
  • Great Display color and Resolution
  • The backup camera supports adjustable parking lines
  • Built-in equalizer, crossover.
  • Shallow Chassis size, some space will be left behind the unit for adapter when installating
Cons
  • Installation takes time
  • No Physical Volume Knobs. It is recommended to use a steering wheel remote with this unit, inorder to avoid distraction

4. ATOTO S8 Gen2 Standard – Best Budget Apple CarPlay Head Unit

ATOTO S8 Standard Review
Features:
  • S8 Gen2 is the second generation of ATOTO S8 Android car stereo, and its Soc applies a 12nm manufacturing process (higher efficiency, lower consumption), ARM Cortext Octa-Core processor (High performance), and latest ATOTO AICE UI 11.0 (deep customization on Android Q). New ATOTO S8 can bring confidence and satisfaction under various operations. There are 3 options available for internet access – Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth & USB Tethering (Traditional Android car stereos only have a Wi-Fi option).
  • Speed Compensated Volume Control (SCVC)- Automatically adjusts S8’s system volume as vehicle speed changes, to adjust for road and wind noise (applicable in 50mph or up. Software algorithms based on GPS positioning).S8 enables six touch gestures that support a two-finger / three-finger tap to enter the multi-task menu quickly, switch between preset 9 EQ modes, adjust the screen brightness, etc., which improves the operation safety during driving. The split-screen display is supported too.
  • Dual Bluetooth (BT1 5.0 & BT2 4.1) allow S8 to have multi-connections with phone and BT devices meanwhile. BT2 can connect to a phone Bluetooth to get internet or Bluetooth OBD2 device to scan or read engine codes. BT1 works as Bluetooth Handsfree & A2DP audio, and helps wake up the phone’s voice assistant (Siri, Google Assistant) and lock/unlock screen to protect personal privacy. S8 supports wired Android Auto & CarPlay, besides, wireless CarPlay is supported since September 1st, 2021.
  • S8(Gen2) Standard works with the ATOTO AC-HD02LR or AC-HD03LR (with Virtual Surround View) camera to show HD rearview image, with a Live RearView (LRV) – Access rearview even if your vehicle is moving ahead. This could remove obstructions caused by passengers, headrests, and the roof & rear pillars, increasing the field of view (the lanes behind and common blind spots). The 178°full-viewing angle IPS display screen with higher contrast substantially improves the viewing experience in daylight.
  • S8G2A74SD adopts the UDH07D mounting style (Universal Double-DIN Headunit with 7-inch Display), almost all dash kits with double-DIN opening are compatible, and with a double-DIN dash kit applied, you will have an integrative look. Besides, The continuous system firmware update is available from ATOTO. Get continued firmware update when available to ensure fewer bugs and get new features added.

 

ATOTO S8 GEN 2 is the 7 Inches Double-DIN Head Unit with Touch Panel, which can be easily installed into most of the vehicle. It supports Android 6.0 and above system, and it has a powerful CPU to support your need for high definition video playback or 3D gaming.

The 12 nm manufacturing process makes this product have better performance in low power consumption and heat dissipation. 

Key Features

  • 7-inch Full HD Display –  The intuitive Full HD display makes it easy to navigate even while driving, and the capacitive touch screen ensures responsive control. With built-in phone mirroring and integration link capabilities, the S8 GEN 2 lets you make calls, access your music, and control other smartphone functions without ever having to take your eyes off the road.
  • Built-in Navigation system – The ATOTO S8 GEN 2 is the perfect GPS/Navigation device for all of your needs. With its built-in GPS Receiver and external antenna, you’ll never lose your way again. Plus, with Google Maps installed as the default map application, navigating anywhere is a breeze. And if you prefer another navigation app, no problem! The Google Play Store has tons of great options to choose from.
  • Split Screen – This amazing car stereo system comes with a ton of features that are sure to make any ride more enjoyable. Some of our favorite features include the split screen display which lets you watch videos or navigate while still being aware of your surroundings, and the digital photo frame option which allows you to showcase your favorite memories as you drive. 
  • Plus, the speed compensated volume control ensures that you never have to deal with uncomfortable road noise levels again. And if that’s not enough, the USB network tethering feature lets you use your phone as a hotspot so you can stay connected even while on the go. 
  • Easy installation – This model is universal, so it can be installed in any vehicle. Plus, it comes with all the necessary accessories to get you up and running in no time. Whether you’re a music lover or a movie buff, the ATOTO S8 GEN 2 is sure to please.
  • Additional Features – ATOTO S8 also has many other features such as: DSP technology for the best sound quality; 4-channel 50W x 4 power amplifier; 6-line 2V preouts (4V RMS); built-in MOSFET amplifier; rear USB port for iPod connection; dual Bluetooth connection.
Pros
  • Numerous features to customize both the sound and display settings
  • The sound quality and noise cancelling aspect is fantastic
  • Works Great, touchscreen is responsive
  • Dual USB input
  • GPS Navigation works even at Offline
  • Low Price Compared to other head units
Cons
  • There are some minor bugs in this unit

5. JVC KW-M150BT – Great Option from JVC

JVC KW-M150BT Review
Features:
  • GENERAL FEATURES: 6.75″ capacitive touchscreen display, AM/FM tuner, plays media loaded with MP3, WMA, FLAC, and AAC music files, fits double-DIN dash openings
  • BLUETOOTH and SMARTPHONE FEATURES: Built-in Bluetooth with dual phone connection for hands-free calling and music streaming, uilt-in iPhone control and rapid Android charging via USB port, Android screen-mirroring via USB
  • AUDIO/VIDEO FEATURES: Plays USB memory devices, 13-band equalizer with digital time alignment, high- and low-pass filters, —Does not play CDs—
  • INPUTS: Rear USB input; backup camera input; rear A/V input (RCA) – OUTPUTS: rear video output; 5-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear, mono sub)
  • INSTALLATION SIZE (WxHxD): 7-3/16″ x 4-7/16″ x 3″ (182 x 112 x 75 mm)

 

The last and the best Apple CarPlay head unit in our list is from JVC Car Audio.

With the JVC KW-M560BT, you can have all of your music at your fingertips. This multimedia player features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can easily access all of your favorite tunes. 

Key Features

  • Large Capacitive Display – The large 6.75” capacitive screen provides a clear view of what’s on the screen, while also being responsive to your touch. Plus, the shallow mounting depth makes it perfect for newer vehicles with smaller radio cavities.
  • Compatible with Apple CarPlay & Auto – Whether you’re looking for a way to use all your favorite apps on the go or just want an easy interface that will work with any phone, this car stereo has what it takes. It features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so users can choose which platform suits them best while they drive without worrying about getting lost because there’s no need! Plus, thanks to its compatibility across multiple devices.
  • Safe Driving via Bluetooth Hands free –  The Bluetooth audio and hands-free calling lets you keep your phone safely tucked away while you’re driving, and the MP3 player means you can take your tunes with you wherever you go. 
  • Built-in EQ –  The 13-band EQ ensures that your music always sounds its best, and the SiriusXM radio gives you access to tons of great programming. The AM/FM car radio rounds out this impressive package.
  •  Time Alignment – This receiver comes with time alignment options and premade presets to help you fine-tune your sound. Plus, it’s compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls so you can keep your hands on the wheel. And if you want to really crank up the volume, the built-in amp provides 21 watts RMS/45 peak x 4 channels of power.
Pros
  • Affordable Price
  • Easy to read Display
  • Built-in Equalizer settings
  • Touchscreen is respnosive and works great
  • Support Phone mirroring feature
Cons
  • NO Physical Buttons.
  • The OS is little slow compared to other units
  • No automatic dimming

Buyer’s Guide: Things to Keep in Mind While Buying  Apple CarPlay Stereo.

Why would you want a new radio? Well, these things do an awful lot. They power your speakers and can give a bigger sound with more power to play music through them or make calls on the phone while driving safer by integrating both features into one device!

There are some few things which you should consider while upgrading to a new CarPlay Stereo such as Display Quality, Connectivity, Boot-up time, Peak Power and RMS. Below we have explained these terms.

Display Quality: It is important to make sure your double-din head unit has a high resolution screen. With more pixels, the image will look clearer and sharper when viewing angles are corrected for size as well! It’s also essential that these screens respond quickly so there isn’t any lag time between touches or movements on interface elements like menus which require quick reactions from drivers behind the wheel.

In addition – don’t let glare off road conditions stop you either because many expensive models have been designed with element protection in mind anyway possible.

Connectivity: One major thing to check when shopping for your car audio system is the connectivity options. You should have both USB and wireless capabilities so that you can easily connect any smartphone or tablet with ease, especially if it’s not in- Arduous position while driving!

Look for an AM/FM radio: This means that this car stereo will provide the basic functions of listening to the radio but it won’t have any other features. If you really want a radio with extra features, you may have to buy two separate units.

Wireless Apple CarPlay: Wireless connectivity is what makes the stereo system stand out from others on this list, and it’s also one of the main features that sets it apart from its competitors. With a simple tap on your phone or tablet you can connect with your favorite songs or radio station for listening anywhere in range (up to 50 feet). The built-in USB port allows users to charge their device while they’re enjoying themselves too!

Boot-up time: The other thing you should look out for is how quickly it can be turned on and ready to use. Most of the aftermarket head units take 10 – 50 seconds to boot.

Appearance:  Some stereos are better looking than others. If looks matter to you, consider what kind of design would go best with the rest of your car.

Warranty:  It’s always good if your car stereo has some kind of warranty; this means that if anything happens to it, you can have it mended for free.

FAQ’s 

Which stereo has wireless CarPlay?

The Pioneer DMH-W4660NEX is compatible with Apple Carplay, which means that you can connect your iPhone to the head unit and have all of your music come through the speakers wirelessly. This is great for those who want their phone’s screen instead of being stuck in one position on a cup holder or dashboard!

What is the cheapest Apple CarPlay radio?

The Kenwood DMX4707S is the cheapest Apple CarPlay radio on this list. It’s also one of the few that has built-in Bluetooth, so you can connect your phone to make and take hands-free calls or stream music without an additional purchase.

Can you put an Apple CarPlay radio in any car?

Yes you can. By buying a new aftermarket Apple CarPlay Stereo for your specific model of your car.

How much does it cost to put Apple CarPlay in your car?

In order to get Apple CarPlay in your car, you need to purchase an aftermarket car stereo that comes with Apple CarPlay feature. Most of these car stereos come with a price range of $300 to $800.

I'm Miles Walker, founder of HeadUnitAdvisor.com I have worked in sound technology for 8 years now. Here I educate the audience about car audio and stereo stuff. I also do Unboxing and reviews of the latest Car Stereos (Head Units).

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