DO's & DON'Ts – Picking a Car Audio Radio Head Unit in 2020

When choosing a car audio head unit (aka stereo or radio) in 2020 what are some “Do’s” and some “Don’ts” to make sure we make the best choice and get the best unit for our application? Let’s talk my opinions on what I feel you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to picking a car audio head unit in 2020.

πŸ”¨ Choosing a head unit for a car audio project, be sure to visit show sponsor Crutchfield to use their vehicle selector tool! (and get a sweet deal for CAF fans!)
βœ”οΈ http://www.crutchfield.com/i-rCAFcYTB/promo/caf.aspx

πŸ”Š Want more? Check out these links:
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πŸ”ŠπŸ”ŠπŸ”Š FULL VIDEO SERIES PLAYLISTS:πŸ”ŠπŸ”ŠπŸ”Š
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– SEMA F150 Subwoofer Box Build: https://bit.ly/CAFf150
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– Stealth Hidden Bass SQ Build – https://bit.ly/CAFstealthaudio

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50 Comments

  1. SALAM JIHAD on January 26, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    I DID ALL THOSE UPGRADES AND MY NICKLEBACK CD STILL SUCKS !!



  2. Dave Gosling on January 26, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    I have a top of the line 9" pioneer head unit….Two of the things that I don’t like(among others) is the touch interface is not very responsive when swiping and the start up time!
    You would think for the price I paid it the touch would be way better…
    The other issues are around AA..



  3. Joshua Laird on January 26, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    I feel like wired carplay and android is better because it charges the phone at the same time… how hard is it to plug it in?



  4. Elviz Prezilly on January 26, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Does anyone know how big of a dyi lithium battery would power a car radio ? 4s7p ?



  5. Edward Still on January 26, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Man I miss my kraco am/fm cassette with my 7 band eq from radio shack lol the day of yesteryear….



  6. Silk on January 26, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Wish that website had better Car stereos for my 91 Cadillac



  7. Cedrick Phillips on January 26, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    πŸ’Ώ are still good to have.because sum music that you might play throughout your phone or Bluetooth have low quality sound. So you can’t knock the old school ways.



  8. Jacana Productions on January 26, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Ok so both of my stupid cards, Highlander and Leaf have useless head units with outdated nav and crappy audio BUT I can’t really pull them out as they display some useful information regarding the Battery / hybrid system. All I want is an external system for Apple Car play that is just a screen. I don’t want lag etc and just need it to work -wireless CarPlay would be nice but wired is OK. I see some units on the market now that are just screens that stick / attach to the dash. I thought that CarPlay units had to be certified by Apple too? Suggestions?



  9. Andre Gopaul on January 26, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    Hey bro.. I’ve got a 2007 tundra and would like to know what’s the best head unit for it



  10. Andrew Harrison on January 26, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    I have a SONY X-commander on a older sony unit, can anyone please me what other brand of head unit will work on other than sony…



  11. carcrazyalex04 on January 26, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    I dont use my phone while driving so I always have to have a CD player



  12. NebulousCat on January 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Plus, don’t waste money on built in navigation when you can use Google Maps in Android Auto.



  13. Chris Cole on January 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    What is the best head unit option for Bluetooth music files, I have the Amazon music HD but the source file quality is still poor compared to a CD or MP3 file.



  14. Asaf Bondame on January 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    How much will it cost me to pay someone to install the pioneer stereo in my car?



  15. zazzn on January 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Looking for a SQ HU, to replace my KDC mp919 which is about 15 years old now. Just looking for the best audio quality, as I don’t care about screens since the phones are ever-changing and have better connectivity and screens anyway. Saw the sony unit but that’s far too expensive. The Pioneer DEH-80PRS is too old nowadays. Any recommendations?



  16. Getoffofmycloud on January 26, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Don’t buy the no brand inferior stereos, knocked up in some ghostyard in China, which offer no customer support at all, and the instructions that come with these stereos are poorly written, in a grammatical sense.
    Pay more $$$ for a quality branded product, which will provide you with years of reliability, and full customer support. …OH, and clearly written instructions….And probably a guarantee.



  17. adamo36532 on January 26, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Lexus es 330 2004 here guys. What do you recommend? I would like it to fit instead of floating



  18. Knifemakerthor on January 26, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    I went to Crutchfield’s site and almost half of the units for my truck were out of stock. Maybe you should tell your boys at Crutchfield to do better. Or at least take down the pictures of the ones they don’t have in stock. Not a good look.



  19. Damien Brooks on January 26, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Crutchfield could not even find a 2017 Mitsubishi triton… πŸ˜‚



  20. Laniakea Rafalovich on January 26, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Is there an option to have a single din head unit with a larger screen away from head unit location???



  21. jeff on January 26, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    do you do any consulting on putting together a system? I want to have my 4 camera security, tied into a tv & a 2 din. dash unit in a van. I also want my cd changer hooked in. Using Android platform Any help appreciated



  22. Kord Taylor on January 26, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Great advice. Thank you.



  23. Mark Henry on January 26, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Mark, nothing mentioned about storage of audio files. Is this a job for the head unit or are the files stored on the connected phone?



  24. Fencer Dennis on January 26, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    FLAC FLAC FLAC please



  25. Laniakea Rafalovich on January 26, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Is there an option to have a single din head unit with a larger screen away from head unit location???



  26. Max Poluektov on January 26, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    How do you deal with volume control when using digital I/O option? Normally you will disable to change the volume on the head unit, berceuse it doesn’t affect the digital output. Or there is some way to do it?



  27. Davin Peterson on January 26, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Toyota had refused to support Android Auto until 2019 and will not put in their older vehicles that have their Entunes 2.0 head unit. I want Android Auto in 2018 Toyota and Toyota won’t offer it. They only put in the new 2020 model. Don’t you hate that auto manufactures don’t update their infotainment systems and make us stuck with the outdated system. We should not have to buy a new car to get the new technology when we can put in the old car



  28. Tay S on January 26, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Hahaha.

    Into car audio to 15+ years ago. I was just thinking how big the scene was back in the early 2000s when I was into sound quality and some glass work (amateur competition ) .

    38, replacing.the system in my 83 mustang 5.0 ragtop. Here we are watching vids.

    Little more docile these days. Small 4 channel and 4 6.5 coax in the doors with a new Bluetooth head unit.

    Also.

    I worked at a local shop in 01. I was boss with a alpine cva1005. Man it was $. And a refurb yet. THEN, its only source was radio. You had to buy a cd/DVD changer for the bloody thing.



  29. Xigan on January 26, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Went to crutchfield to see what fits a 2006 Ford Fiesta and its not even listed πŸ˜’ quality site πŸ‘Œ



  30. Fenix on January 26, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    My android based head unit has been super awesome, I run torque pro, can put gauges on my stereo, pull up YouTube or any other video app for people when traveling, etc., I couldn’t go back to a non android based stereo.



  31. Mechanical Vegan on January 26, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Is there a 5 or 6 RCA to Toslink product we can install in our system? I just installed a DM-810 and would prefer 1 optical cable running to it. Thank you.



  32. Guido Lamoto on January 26, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Totally disagree on the android aftermarket autoradio: you need to read the specs before to buy one. Of course, if you buy a model with 1Gb ram, 4Gb ROM, dual core and android 6 will be slow as f***k, but if you take a 6gb ram, octacore, android 10 it’s another story. Many have an integrated good DSP too. You should look a little better on it



  33. Ray medina on January 26, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    go crutchfield. always good service



  34. Rob Roy on January 26, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    I love my android unit! Netflix and Xbox streaming with my Xbox controller….oh yea sounds fine



  35. berniemackattack86 on January 26, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    . Hey okay sorry to come a little off of topic but what does it mean if the Crutchfield website says an amplifier isn’t compatible with my car model??
    It feels that might be inaccurate..



  36. Nomadic Expectations on January 26, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    can you resolve the problem of audio quality on an android system by introducing a DSP



  37. John Pinestead on January 26, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Crutch doesn’t have C300 cars



  38. Elroy Cooley on January 26, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    I found a head unit that has Alexa



  39. ColdPetRat2.99 on January 26, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    cd quality nothing beats it



  40. Greg Dimas on January 26, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    My head is swimming and I’ve installed a few of my own….
    needs to wok with all controls in my 2017 Toyota Camry XSE w/ JBL
    needs capacitive touch screen
    WIRELESS Android auto
    HD radio
    do not need CD or DVD player
    Needs to work with Waze
    do not need built in navigation… the phone does that better anyway

    I’ve approached this from all angles since the 2017 JBL system is brilliant except for the useless built in non-navigation Navigation system.
    I’ve looked at high end Navigation systems from Garmin but they cannot approach Waze live data (some of which is now incorporated into Google maps)
    I’ve looked into tablets but most Android tablets are severely lacking in terms of GPS ability.

    I’ve been looking at Pioneer and Alpine head units but would rather not spend over $600 for a good unit if I can get everything for the $300 Alpine head unit but they tend to leave out info, please help.



  41. Greg Sonne on January 26, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    I have the new 2020 pioneer 3500 flip face /internet ready bad as you tube to



  42. Dan Gee on January 26, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Do NOT buy Eonon!



  43. Frederick Gramlich on January 26, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Looking for some recommendations on 5 channel amps with optical inputs. Something around $4-500 range. I’m personally a fan of the android radios because they come in not so normal sizes that fit odd situations better and some of them have the optical out. Figure this would bypass relying on their junk preamps.



  44. Cheese Bob on January 26, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    When you own a car that does not have a double din dash kit anywhere:(



  45. Ron Mejia on January 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Are pioneer bad head units? I spent over a grand for a nav pioneer head unit and it crapped out not even 3 years later, just stuck in the booting loop, is that a thing?



  46. James G on January 26, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    I put my vehicle into Crutchfield’s website and it just said "we don’t recommend you replace the stereo in your car". Lol



  47. halvey123 on January 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    I want a CD unit, not usb , old fashioned



  48. Keep on Tri-ing! on January 26, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Crutchfield….hmmm no Alfa Romeo option. I’m guessing it’s not European too



  49. Qalum on January 26, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Thinking of getting a car play Head unit from Boss. can anyone vouch for one? They seem pretty good but can’t find too many reviews on them.



  50. Jax Rhapsody on January 26, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    All I need is a single DIN HD RADIO with bluetooth and aux usb/sd slot. All that other shit is superfluous and unneccessary. Simple is best.