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How to choose a radio for a car: an overview of the best models, specifications and reviews

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How to choose a radio for a car: an overview of the best models, specifications and reviews
How to choose a radio for a car: an overview of the best models, specifications and reviews

To brighten up a gloomy morning or add positive to a hard evening after work, the car radio helps the driver. Every year this technique becomes more perfect: more powerful, more efficient, more compact, and at the same time more complex.

Today's market for automotive gadgets offers a chic assortment. And if advanced users are still at least somehow oriented in all this diversity, then beginners shrug their shoulders and ask a completely natural question: “How to choose a radio tape recorder for a car?”

The situation is further complicated by the fact that in addition to the brand, one has to look at the technical features of each specific model. Choosing a radio for a car just like that, with a swoop, will not work. Here you need to take into account some structural and hardware points. Otherwise, the gadget may either not fit into a regular place, or frankly sound bad.

So, let's try to figure out how to choose a radio for a car, what to focus on, and how not to miscalculate with a purchase. In addition, to alleviate the difficulties of choice, we give an example of sever althe most intelligent models of different formats and price categories.

How to choose a car radio?

First of all, you should decide on the manufacturer. Famous brands will never allow any critical flaws in their products. The competition in this market is very tough and any, even the smallest miscalculation can cause a client to leave.

This is where the build quality comes from. A reputable manufacturer is always testing new models and refining old ones, and the quality control department monitors the conveyor day and night. The backbone of manufacturers in this segment has been formed for a long time and newcomers are not favored here, so all popular brands should be heard by car enthusiasts and fans of high-quality sound.

Top Producers:

  • Alpine.
  • Sony.
  • "Pioneer".
  • "Prologie".
  • Kenwood.
  • JVC.

The best car radios are produced under these brands, so you need to pay attention to them first of all. Yes, they are more expensive than the ubiquitous Chinese consumer goods, but good quality has never been cheap.

Form factor

After you decide on the brand, you can study the technical part of the equipment. All modern musical auto gadgets can be divided into two form factors - these are 1 DIN and 2 DIN. In the first case, we have a device width of 180 mm and a height of 50 mm. 2 DIN equipment has a higher height of 100 mm and a similar width.

head unit for cars

Increased dimensions allowfit more controls and equip the stuffing richer. But before choosing a 2 DIN radio in a car, make sure that this format will correctly fit into its regular place. Otherwise, you will have to make improvements, moreover, critical for the design, and in some cases abandon the trip computer. So you can choose a 2 DIN radio in a car only if the panel format allows it.

how to choose a 2 din radio in the car

But that doesn't mean that 1 DIN gadgets are worse. As mentioned above, modern technologies contribute to the rapid reduction in the size of devices. Therefore, this format can offer a lot to the owner of the car. Radios with a retractable monitor are worth anything, or multifunctional devices on the Android platform, where the usual large pixels are replaced with quite adequate graphics that feel great even in such small dimensions.


The number of line outputs directly depends on the number of amplifiers that can be connected to the device, and this will add power to the gadget. Those who need more channels to install acoustics should definitely pay attention to this parameter.

Installing the radio in the car in this case will be a little more difficult, because you have to throw wires almost throughout the cabin. But if a pair of speakers on the front panel suits you, and you don’t need powerful acoustics around the perimeter, then you can get by with a pair of outputs. In addition, such equipment is much cheaper. good halfhead unit for cars is just such an option.

Other features

It is also worth paying attention to other characteristics of the future radio. The ratio of the noise of the audio channel and the indicator of the signal itself must be at least 90 dB. It would be useful to clarify the presence of a tone control on the radio. Fans of listening to different styles, this opportunity will come in handy.

As for power, options in the range of 100-150 watts per channel can be called optimal. In this case, the output sound will be of the highest quality. Provided, of course, that you have sensible acoustics installed.

install radio in car

The format of the device (music center, video player or now fashionable android car radio) does not affect the sound quality. All these modern "canopies" for the most part are designed to organize advanced leisure, and nothing more. So don't believe the seller's assurances that a model with a disco ball and a strobe will sound better than the exact same one without them.

Next, consider the specific and most popular radio models among domestic consumers.

Sony DSX-A212UI (1 DIN)

This is one of the most inexpensive and simple options from the venerable Japanese brand. The model comes in a typical X-series design and looks quite nice. The radio has a good integration of third-party gadgets and FLAC support.

best car radios

The model only supports devices onAndroid platform according to the AOA 2.0 standard. Unfortunately, there is no “Bluetooth” for the car radio. But the price category does not imply decent equipment with wireless protocols.

The output sound is quite decent. With the available power, the distortion cannot be called critical. And like other representatives of Sony, there is an opportunity to properly “lift up” the basses and jam the passing streets with a beat.

Distinctive features of the radio

The model has "tulips" for the rear, but, alas, there is nothing to throw at the subwoofer. The ten-band equalizer behaves quite adequately and there are no complaints about it. Judging by the reviews, users consider this model the best budget option. The build quality here is at the appropriate level for Sony, the sound is good, and you can’t expect more from this price category.

Model benefits:

  • acceptable sound;
  • integration with Android gadgets;
  • lossless audio support;
  • quality build;
  • easy installation;
  • nice design;
  • more than affordable cost for a Sony device.


  • felt bass distortion at maximum volume;
  • Subwoofer cannot be connected.

The estimated cost of the model is about 3,000 rubles.

Pioneer MVH-X580BT (1 DIN)

This is a more serious car radio from Pioneer. The model first of all attracts with its appearance: pleasant colors, sensible arrangement of elements and pleasant to the touchmaterial. Well, the build quality corresponding to the brand: no wheezing, backlash, gaps and other shortcomings.

bluetooth radio for car

The radio offers an advanced 13-band equalizer with the MixTrax system, full support for the FLAC codec, bluetooth, a decent set of line outputs, including a subwoofer, a good built-in amplifier, and also very good sound.

The model is full size, but there is no DVD drive. Users on this occasion leave puzzled reviews. The entire "stuffing" of the radio can fit almost in the hand, but the manufacturer does not understand why he "inflated" the dimensions. Installing a full-size format is noticeably more difficult, and a decent weight does not affect the panel in the best way, especially when it comes to budget cars.

Pros of the model:

  • good sound;
  • FLAC support;
  • subwoofer connectivity;
  • attractive appearance;
  • adequate cost.


  • Panel scratches easily;
  • virtually no microphone.

The approximate price of the model is about 7,000 rubles.

Prology MDD-720 (1 DIN)

Here we have not just a radio, but a whole multimedia center. The 16x9 retractable screen allows you to significantly expand the functionality of the device, and local codecs play all popular formats of both audio and video content.

car radio with retractable monitor

On board also has a DVD drive, USB slot, supportedbluetooth protocols, a subwoofer output, and there is also a sensible synergy with "apple" and android gadgets. Judging by the reviews, users have no complaints about the assembly and ease of use. The only thing they specify is that models in the same price category, but without a retractable screen, have better sound quality. Nevertheless, the existing sound is quite acceptable for many.

Model benefits:

  • high-quality screen in the ratio of 16 to 9;
  • plenty of functionality (games, videos);
  • extended radio band;
  • great build quality;
  • support for wireless protocols;
  • synergy with iOS and Android;
  • energy saving.


Some users complain about the fussy design

The estimated cost of the model is about 11,000 rubles.

Kenwood DMX7017BTS (2 DIN)

The model at first sight attracts with its exterior. In addition, the beautifully designed panel also features an ergonomic interface, where each element is in its place and is available with the first click.

android car radio

You can control the radio both with the help of keys and through a mobile gadget. Judging by user reviews, Android platforms sometimes have some, but minor problems, but iOS is in order. The model works great in tandem with Apple devices, including the Siri voice assistant.

Features of the model

The radio also allowsconnect a front view camera to facilitate movement in traffic jams, or use the device as a DVR, and with an intelligent G-sensor. The recording is in Full HD resolution, so there are no problems with reading the numbers.

As for the sound, everything is fine with that too. Here we have a classic Kenwood gadget with all the consequences: well-researched frequencies, good EQ and all kinds of acoustic outputs.


  • great sound;
  • multifunctionality;
  • excellent synergy with iOS and not bad with Android;
  • modes "Video Recorder" and "Front View Camera";
  • support for all popular formats;
  • convenient interface.

No critical cons identified.

The approximate price of the model is about 24,000 rubles.

Alpine INE-W928R (2 DIN)

Judging by user reviews, this is the best that this segment has to offer. The premium class device is a real combine for organizing leisure. The possibilities and advantages of this radio can be listed for a very long time.

radio kenwood

Among other features, you can note an excellent 8-inch screen and very convenient operation. The device works great in tandem with both Android and iOS. Here you can adjust everything and everything, from the equalizer to the titles for the video sequence.

Users are also very warm about the sound quality. There are no flaws, even small ones, in sight. Everything is done and decorated to the highest standard.There is simply nothing to complain about.

Model benefits:

  • outstanding sound quality;
  • multifunctionality (music, games, video, internet, GPS, etc.);
  • fully digital and precise settings;
  • great synergy with Android and iOS platforms;
  • Navigator and Camera mode;
  • intelligent matrix and screen (does not glare and with maximum viewing angles).

No negatives found.

The estimated cost of the model is about 70,000 rubles.

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