Car radio test 2022: current recommendations at a glance

On the road again: driving a car is no fun without music

Looking for the perfect sound in the car radio? You can listen closely during an on-site test!

In search of the perfect sound in the car radio? you can listen closely during an on-site test!

About 913 days a german spends in the car on average in his life. To afford this long time so convenient as possible to design, was developed in the year 1922 the first car radio installed in a vehicle. In addition to padded seats and other features of the car, it must have one thing above all else: a hands-free system.

According to a recent study by forsa and cosmosdirekt 71 percent swear by the surveyed drivers, never without a corresponding hands-free make phone calls while driving. Understandable, because the phone on the ear costs after all a fine of 60 euros and one point.

Modern vehicles offer special car radios with hands-free car kit, bluetooth and usb slot standard on. But since according to this study oldtimers are also still in demand, there are of course certain problems here. Who has a car radio retrofit drivers who want to use a car radio are spoilt for choice and must also pay attention to a number of factors. What they are and other useful tips, find out in a personal car radio test. In this guide, you will learn how to make such a practical test.

you are looking for a suitable car radio? Find out here what you should look for in the different models and types.

You are looking for a suitable car radio? Find out here what you should look out for in the different models and types.

The best car radios from the test at a glance:

Car radio with USB, navi, DAB+ and bluetooth – what’s important?

Admittedly, the question in the headline is somewhat wrongly posed, because – what is important about a car radio?? It is a device that records the time spent in the vehicle on exciting way entertains and noticeably shortens. Life is probably not necessary. But to have the possibility have your favorite music with you at all times and talking to your partner on the phone is a real pleasure for every car owner. New car radio models make it possible.

Eyes open for a practical test: not all car radios are the same

Before buying a car radio, there are many factors to consider. Although there is a DIN standardization in terms of device size, but some car manufacturers deviate from this. For this reason, in this chapter we have listed some tips to help you find the best car radio. Popular brands are JVC, kenwood (especially the KDC series), sony, pioneer, blaupunkt, and AEG.

DIN ISO 7736

The german institute for standardization developed the DIN standard 75490 for car radios so that not every car manufacturer could install different sizes. In year 1984 the DIN standard has been set as an international standard and has been converted into ISO 7736 renamed.

As a mix of both terms, the word "" was created in the colloquial languageDIN ISO 7736". In this standardization, two car radio sizes were identified:

  • Single DIN or 1 DIN
  • Double DIN or 2 DIN

In the colloquial language the latter is also often called double DIN called. Both variants have the same width. This lies with 180 millimeters. 1-DIN radios have a height of 50 mm whereas 2-DIN radios have a 100 millimeters are high, i.e. – nomen est omen – double the height.

You can quickly find out the size of your car at a glance: is it rather narrow or very large?? Unfortunately depth of radio slots not standardized. This in itself is not a problem. However, more current models have different depths.

Before you buy a car radio, you should necessarily pay attention to the depth of the car radio itself and the depth of your installation slot. measure it best, so that the radio also fits.

Keep in mind during your practical test of the car radio that there are different sizes depending on the vehicle

keep in mind during your practical test of the car radio that there are different sizes depending on the vehicle.

Volkswagen is such an example. The newer car models, preferably the current ones golf variants, have their own dimensions. This is difficult in that the car driver only has a limited selection of car radios has. However, in contrast to this current car model already has new features like bluetooth, USB etc. has the ability to play your MP3 files.

In this case, there are special car radio manufacturers that specialize in this type of car models. These radios have no CD- resp. DVD drive and are so reduced in depth. in the car hifi sector these models are "mechless car radio" or "flashxo car radio" named.

car radio types in comparison: same with touchscreen display?

Especially a double DIN car radio is suitable for a model with a touchscreen display. Whether with navigation or with a DVD drive to watch movies or even watch TV while driving – the special size of the 2-DIN radio fits perfectly for such functions.

But also 1-DIN radios can have a small screen on which they display the map of navigation. However, the symbols and street names will be very small is displayed, which is why this often distracts from driving more than a clearly visible navigation device.

Every car model is different. Sometimes the vent is located directly above the slot for the radio, often above and below the car radio is no space more for a large screen. However, the car radio market is prepared for these eventualities:

  1. If there is no more space above and below the car radio: for these cases there are the so called "moniceivers". This is the name given to a car radio with a screen that extends by itself.
  2. If there is ventilation above the car radio: for these cases there are built-in radios with displays, which protrude downwards.
  3. If there is a shelf under the car radio that the driver would like to continue using: for this purpose there are radios with a monitor protruding upwards.

different connections for a car radio: in the practical test you have to find the right connection

Current vehicle models have a multifunctional built-in car radio, which not only controls the music through this device. Often car drivers remove their standard radio and discover many cables, where they do not know at first, what they are there for in the first place.

This is because new audi or BMW models, for example, also control the air conditioning and other functions of the car via the radio. However, as car radio manufacturers are trying to put devices on the market that may be designed for any vehicle model is difficult in this case.

The international organization for standardization, short ISO, has a standard for the connectors for a car radio REGULATED. The ISO standard 10487 defines two different aspects of the connectors:

  • The plug
  • The electrical requirements

The contact assignments of the colloquially called ISO-connectors, the power and supply plugs of almost every car radio can be block A, B and C parts. Block A contains terminals for u.A. mass, the ignition and the battery connection. So it acts as power and supply plugs.

especially blaupunkt, grundig and volkswagen models up to 1993 have other contact assignments. Block B is the loudspeaker connection, which usually comes in the color brown. Block C is for real car hifi fans. Here are the connections for, for example, a power amplifier or the CD changer.

Which radio will become your personal car radio test winner?

Which radio will become your personal car radio comparison winner?

It is also difficult, for example, if you have a so-called V.A.G.-vehicle have. The abbreviation stands for volkswagen share company. under this name volkswagen introduced a common platform for the distribution of the different brands under VW. This happened in 1978, but was quickly discarded. For example, more than one car radio test showed that old audi, seat or VW models so-called V.A.G.-cable need.

specialist workshop or chain?

Basically it has to be said that a car radio has a usual operating voltage of 12 volt should have. If your favorite radio has less or more voltage, you should go to a specialist who will advise you comprehensively about it.

Generally speaking, going to a specialist – if possible before buying a radio – is is worth itself. For example, if you choose a radio with a hands-free system and bluetooth, the microphone wired so that the best sound can be produced during the subsequent telephone call. For this the cable usually laid along under the fairing to get into the glare area of the car.

This technique is extremely fast, but can be a torture for an inexperienced hobby mechanic. For this reason expert advice to recommend. before you buy even certain cables in online stores, you should talk to a car hifi specialist. He can tell you, exactly which cables are needed, as this can even vary from VW golf to VW polo – i.e. within one car brand.

Who is responsible for the installation save money would like, should not go to workshop chains, which offer this particularly cheaply. The experience of many car drivers has shown that these companies mostly not so trained and for this reason do not have any knowledge about particularities of some models. car-hifi-companies often consist of only one mechanic, nevertheless the price is usually not considerably more expensive than at the cheap-workshop.

functions of a car radio: when testing, you should go through everything

Until the beginning of the 21. At the beginning of the 20th century, car radios with a cassette drive equipped. Later the trend went to CD drive, now this has also been replaced. A car radio with bluetooth function and USB port allows CD-less music listening while driving.

Together with a music app on the smartphone the car radio becomes a jukebox with millions of titles. Or should the car radio in comparison rather with a navi be equipped? The range of functions offered by modern devices is almost infinite and can be extended even further by apps.

So the trend is away from the CD drive and towards slots for SD cards, USB and AUX connections. In the following chapter, we will introduce some of the functions of a car radio: during your practical test, you will have to decide for yourself which functions are suitable for your personal best car radio are indispensable.

Music and sound

When choosing the right radio, it is important to have built-in standard speakers can also convert the sound of the radio. Depending on which music genre you prefer, you may need to install a power amplifier or better speakers. Do you want a strong bass or do you like to listen to live music with a lot of treble in the music??

a car hifi specialist can help you to choose the right radio. Because it is of no use if you install an expensive car radio, which in itself has a bluetooth function good sound can provide, but your installed boxes can not implement this. Often, however, no new boxes need, because even a small vehicle model already has good boxes installed, which can produce a nice sound.

a car radio can be an expensive purchase. Therefore, if you would like to be buy new speakers, you should already pay attention to the correct cables. If your chosen car radio already has the cable, you need later for the new speakers or the subwoofer?

According to today’s standard, have modern radios also have an equalizer. With this it is possible, change highs, lows and the bass or. customize to get the best out of the sound of the music track. this is especially suitable if you prefer different music genres and switch from blues to techno to classical music every now and then.

Statements about the sound are made in watt made. So if a car radio has the designation "4 x 50 watt", this means that the device power four speakers with a power of 50 watt can.

When it comes to radio, RDS is standard

A car radio has many identical functions compared to a navi

A car radio has many identical functions compared to a navi

However, if you prefer radio you should also pay attention to important functions here. Consider in your personal car radio test all devices have a radio function with FM. The abbreviation stands for ultra shortwave. Radio stations broadcast in these frequency ranges.

The majority of car radios also have RDS services. RDS means radio data system or radio data system. This function allows the car radio, to transmit additional information from the radio. So the the title and the interpreter of the song currently playing are displayed on the screen become.

In today’s world, however, one feature of RDS has proven to be useful. While driving, this service can also provide information about where there are currently traffic jams or traffic obstructions.

This function loads namely small data packages of the radio stations down and listens, so to speak, to the traffic news with. An integrated navigation system can be show alternative routes, to reach your destination even faster and with less stress.

If you want one achieve good radio reception, is perhaps a double tuner system the right one for you. This function searches radio signals on two different tuners. Is the signal too weak on the main tuner, the system will automatically switch to the second.

Some car radios have the TMC system. This is an unofficial extension of RDS. The traffic message channel can receive traffic jams and traffic obstructions in the inaudible range of the radio signal and thus also display routes for bypassing. This system is also often installed in modern navigation devices.

Another innovation in terms of car radio offers DAB and DAB+. These two functions represent digital radio. Some radio stations have already converted their broadcasting to digital; however, by no means all have done so yet. Although this should be according to law until 2012 happen, nevertheless it could not become generally accepted yet. For this reason, the federal government pushed this deadline extended indefinitely. However, some stations, such as deutschlandfunk, have already changed their transmission.

The quality at digital radio is currently the highest. If there is no digital reception for a short time during the journey, changes the modern car radio the same in comparison to older devices to the FM frequency range. If this alternative does not exist, the radio becomes mute. the online magazine computerbild tested car radios with DAB+ and came to the conclusion that the car radio comparison winner even available for 200 euro is.

safe from theft

The best car radio does not have to cost a lot of money

The best car radio does not have to cost a lot of money

When you do a car radio test, you find that cost ranges of about 30 to 200 euro exist. Multifunctional devices can cost even more. those who want to buy an expensive radio, of course, also fears that the good piece will get lost.

For this reason there is since the 1980s a car radio code. Most car owners have never come into contact with it. Because the four digit code only becomes important when the radio disconnected from power will. So is the car battery empty, the code must be entered.

This is also the case with standard radios, which are already installed in the vehicle at the factory. Mostly you will find this code in the manual of your vehicle or in the sales documents. After disconnection from the power supply of the car radio, the device locks itself and can then only be restored by means of a code decoded become.

Some radios do this without PIN, as soon as they are plugged back into the vehicle’s usual connections. Who lost radio code has to go different ways to get the PIN back. Almost every car manufacturer has different conditions. At mercedes for example the car radio often has to be be sent to the manufacturer for decoding.

FAQ: car radio

First of all, you have to ask yourself what you expect from the device. Would you like to be able to make a phone call? Should it be a car radio with integrated navi? Should the device have touchscreen? What connections must it have?

Everything important for the installation of the car radio read here.

It all depends on the equipment. This table gives an orientation.

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