car radios in test – best models 2022 in comparison
If you are looking for the best car radio, you will be spoilt for choice, because the range is very large. in addition to the installation dimensions and compatibility, you also need to consider the equipment, functions and performance. if you find it too time-consuming to do extensive research and would rather just make a good buying decision quickly, you can follow our buying recommendation because we’ve already done the research work for you. So we can highly recommend the 1 DIN car radio UTE-200BT from alpine, because it is inexpensive, has a good equipment with bluetooth and USB connection, is powerful and overall comfortable to use. Alternatively, the 2 DIN car radio with display MVH-A210BT from pioneer is highly recommended, because the price-performance ratio is excellent thanks to extensive equipment, high compatibility with cameras and a good performance as well as media diversity.
The RDS radio convinces with a fair price and good features at the same time. It works with an output power of 4×50 watt, is equipped with a USB port and you can pair your smartphone via bluetooth to use it as a handsfree or for streaming. The price-performance ratio is therefore convincing.
The display of the 1-DIN radio is quite simple and it is also not DAB-capable.
The bottom line is that this is a very solid, convenient to use and well-equipped DIN radio at a fair price. A look is therefore worthwhile in any case.
The 2-DIN radio from pioneer convinces with a good equipment with touchscreen, rear USB and can also play videos. It is suitable as a handsfree thanks to bluetooth, a microphone is already supplied. In addition, the output power is decent and the price-performance ratio can convince.
Despite display you can not use a navigation system and the radio is not DAB-capable.
If you are looking for a solidly equipped 2-DIN car radio with hands-free system, on which you can also play videos, you will find it here.
you can choose between several variants of the model. The high-quality variant has DAB+, USB, LED and bluetooth. With 4×50 watts and good fine tuning, the performance is very decent and not only can it be paired with 2 smartphones for streaming, but it also has a speakerphone and is controllable via app.
Operation is quite cumbersome on the single-line display. In addition, the demo mode must always be turned off at startup.
If you’re looking for a solid and well-equipped 1-DIN car radio, you should definitely take a look at the JVC model, because it offers a lot at a fair price.
Buying advice for car radios
Before you simply buy a cheap car radio, our recommendation is to look at the size, compatibility and features in particular. Anyone who has already had some experience with a car radio or has already carried out a price comparison knows how great the differences are between the individual models and the range on the market. In the following we have summarized the most important criteria for you, on which you should pay attention with the purchase. Finally, you can see in our test report an overview of the best car radios 2022, which we have determined in the test.
DIN slots and compatibility with your car
Which model is the best car radio for your purposes depends, of course, largely on whether it is suitable for your vehicle. Most manufacturers now use the DIN format for car radios. A distinction is made between double DIN car radios (2 DIN) and 1 DIN car radios. Double DIN means that the radio occupies two DIN slots. Compared to 1-DIN, the device has twice as much space in the height available. This is often the case for large car radios with display or navigation system. For 1-DIN are 180 x 50 mm provided, while 2-DIN car radios have corresponding installation dimensions of 180 x 100 mm (wxh).
You may also need a mounting frame that fits your vehicle or you may have to use the existing frame. If you are undecided whether a car radio can be installed in your vehicle, whether a rear view camera, steering wheel remote control, boxes& co. Compatible, you can ask in your specialist workshop. Whenever standard radios are already installed at the factory, replacement is no problem either. It can be more complicated with integrated navigation devices with radio. This is because the connections for the GPS antenna, control elements and so on must also be suitable for the replacement device.
It is also important to remember that the installation of a third-party radio in a vehicle can void the warranty. In case of doubt, you should clarify this with your specialist workshop beforehand.
Playback functions and supported media
If you want to play media such as mp3s or even videos from the USB stick, from CD, DVD or via bluetooth, you must of course also make sure that the device supports this. Without a display, there is no video playback – that’s clear. But even car radios with a display and USB do not necessarily play video content.
So before you buy, check what types of media are supported, whether the radio supports DAB radio (digital radio) and what options you have to connect your smartphone or other storage media – such as USB or SD cards – to the device. In addition, it is also worth taking a look at the apps that are available on a device. This is important at least for car radios with a large display – for 1 DIN car radios without a color display you will usually not have any apps installed. Extensively equipped models allow you, for example, to use the internet connection of your smartphone so that you can z.B. can display Facebook, google maps or other apps on it.
In addition, you should look for an appropriate video input, for example, if you want to connect a dashcam or rear view camera. You need a car radio with a DVD player if you want to play content from dvds. Conventional CD car radios usually do not support dvds.
Additional functions and performance
In particular, media receivers that have a display and run a complex operating system, such as android 10, should also have a correspondingly fast processor so that everything runs smoothly. For modern android systems, you should buy at least a device with a quad-core processor and 4 GB of RAM. What else you can look out for in the scope of functions, we have summarized for you below.
Bluetooth: bluetooth not only allows you to stream audio content, but usually a car radio with bluetooth also allows you to pair it with your smartphone. This allows you, for example, to access your contact data, make phone calls via the (if available) hands-free system and more.
navigation: a car radio with navi is a combined device with a display that you can also use for navigation. There are navigation radios both as 1 and as 2 DIN car radio. android car radios also support navigation in principle. But note that the device must also detect your position for this purpose. So you need a GPS antenna on the car radio. Some models also support navigation by pairing with your smartphone. But it is better if the radio can determine your position independently.
DAB: the term stands for digital audio broadcasting via terrestrial antennas. For DAB or. The further development DAB+ it concerns digital radio stations. The variety of programs is much greater and the playback quality is better. The number of programs varies from state to state. Make sure you buy a DAB car radio that can receive digital content, if that’s important to you.
Operation: many vehicles today are equipped with a steering wheel remote control. If you install a new radio in such a vehicle, you should therefore make sure that it is compatible with such a remote control, otherwise you will no longer be able to control it via it. For car radios with a display you should pay attention to a touch control.
Connection options for cameras: although you can buy one or the other car radio with a rear view camera, the two are usually sold separately. If you buy a car radio with display, there is a good chance that it will also have connectivity for a dashcam or rearview camera.
Compatibility with boxes: especially for models with very powerful audio output, you need to check if your car’s speakers are compatible with the car radio before installation. With most models on the market you will not have any problems in this respect. The power required by the car radio is well compatible with the on-board electronics and other performance data in most models.
RDS and PTY: RDS and PTY are additional information transmitted by RDS radio stations in addition to the audio signal. With RDS, for example, it is the name of the station as well as single-line text content. PTY, on the other hand, is a coding for the program type. For example, you can filter out important traffic news from the rest and have it output even if you are not actually listening to the radio at the moment.
Handsfree: if you buy a car radio with hands-free system, this means that you can pair your smartphone with the device via bluetooth and output the call through the speakers. the radio itself must be equipped with a microphone and, of course, the car radio must support bluetooth so that you can talk to the person you are talking to.
USB: if the car radio is equipped with usb jacks, you can easily connect usb chargers or similar devices from the front. This is especially practical if you want to charge your cell phone on the car radio. Many car radios with USB also support memory sticks, of course, so that media content such as mp3s or even videos can be played from the USB stick.
11 best car radios 2022 in test
We have clearly summarized below which models prevailed in the test as the best car radios of the year 2022.