Car headunits for every budget - evo Essentials

Need to upgrade your in-car entertainment? Here are five options to shortlist

Amazingly, there are still vehicles on sale with traditional single- and double-DIN audio and entertainment setups, rather than fully built-in systems. And of course, there are huge numbers of older vehicles still using such arrangements too.

This means there's still a large aftermarket for in-car audio, though the industry has moved with the times and now offers niceties such as DAB and navigation. Better still, some are compatible with services like Apple Carplay and Android auto - meaning your older performance car can potentially match the functionality of the very newest vehicles.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

We've looked at a selection of products currently available, from those that'd suit a more subdued interior or older car, to the latest touchscreens.

Kenwood DPX-7000DAB

If you aren't convinced by the touchscreens that pervade the double-DIN choices, this unit may be ideal. With DAB, Bluetooth, CD and iPhone and Android compatibility (via either USB or near-field communications) it has all the features you need, plus satisfyingly large, clear buttons. You can change the illumination colour to match your cabin, too.

£199.95 kenwood.eu/car

Autosound radio CD with Bluetooth

An affordable alternative to the likes of Becker's Europa and ideally suited to classic vehicles. With CD, Bluetooth and a USB input, you've got several options for listening to music, though unlike others here there's no DAB. Those put off by tiny switches will appreciate the large knobs and substantial preset buttons.

£99.95 classiccarstereo.co.uk


Don't let the simple look deceive you - this JVC unit packs not only CD and DAB capabilities, but easy compatibility with Android and iPhones (with a wired mic for Siri functions) and Bluetooth connection. Don't like the blue graphics? You can also change the background illumination colour.

£149.95 jvc.co.uk

Pioneer SPH-DA120

In Connectivity in evo 216, we looked at the pros and cons of factory-fit and aftermarket infotainment. Pioneer's offering is a good argument for the latter: it has a clear, 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, letting you use your phone's maps, music and messaging functions. It's Android-compatible too and lets you hook up a rear-view camera.

£329 pioneer-car.eu

Kenwood KDC-BT700DAB

This is about as slick and unobtrusive as you can get in the single-DN headunit world these days: A classy black finish and white illumination. It has the obligatory DAB receiver and will hook up easily to iPhones with USB. With Kenwood's Music Control Android app you can even control the unit's functions from your phone.

£129.95 kenwood.eu/car



Faster lap times promised by Garmin Catalyst real-time coaching tool

3 Sep 2020

What is a hybrid? Hybrid tech and how it’s used in performance cars

1 May 2020

Most Popular


Ferrari Omologata revealed – latest bespoke commission a V12 super coupe

One-off Ferrari Omologata revealed with bespoke body 789bhp V12 engine
25 Sep 2020
Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera Turbo S 2020 review 

Monster straight-line pace and impressive handling, but the Panamera sweet spot is found elsewhere
26 Sep 2020
BMW M3 saloon

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn

This is the all-new BMW M3 Competition saloon which will join the M4 Competition coupe in BMW M’s new M3/4 family
23 Sep 2020

Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali named new F1 CEO

Lamborghini’s CEO to take charge of F1 from 2021.
25 Sep 2020