Car stereo reviews: single and double-DIN head units

Audio head unit tests
5 Jun, 2014 3:15pm Henry Willis

We pick from the best app-ready double-DIN and basic mechless single-DIN car stereos

It’s getting harder and harder to customise in-car entertainment equipment in newer models, but many drivers still see a car stereo as an important piece of kit and like to regularly upgrade.

Some units do a lot more than others, so we’ve looked at stereos at either end of the market: high-spec double-DIN systems that allow you to operate smartphone apps and basic ‘mechless’ single-DIN units, which do without a CD drive to cut costs. What comes out on top as we test five of each?

How we tested them

We were looking for all-round ability here: stereos with the widest range of features scored highest. Some features in either category are standard, but some units have extras that set them apart. 

Ease of use was also crucial – we wanted our stereos to function with minimal driver input. They also got extra marks for having DAB. Prices are from a range of sources at the time of going to press.


App-ready double-DIN head units

1. Sony XAV602BT

2. Kenwood DDX5025

Mechless single-DIN head units

1. Kenwood KMM-BT34

2. Philips CE153DR

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Why on earth would you want a CD drive?