There is a radio in every car nowadays. This small but very useful device helps to avoid boredom on the road, listen to music and news. It helps not to fall asleep while driving continuously. This is how you try to acquire the qualitative modern radio devices.In recent years there is a tendency in Europe to use the digital car radio instead of FM radio. Germany is no exception. It is clear, as the digital technologies offer the new possibilities to the radio users. Actually you get a number of advantages with digital radio. The loud gets better. The broadcast quality is higher than FM radio. The device works constantly and without interference regardless of the landscape. All this is possible thanks to standard DAB+. It can be used to replace the old-fashioned FM radio.
If you want to buy a modern digital car radio, you should consider the models presented in this overview. Each of them has its own advantages.
Kenwood KDC-X7200DAB: digital car radio with bluetooth handsfree
A radio with hands-free function. Thanks to bluetooth technology, the owner of this device can safely make hands-free phone calls without interference. Among businessmen and long-distance drivers, this radio function is most welcome. The voice quality is better when using an external microphone.
It also ensures the suppression of ambient noise.
The biggest advantage of this digital car radio is that a DAB tuner offers a wide variety of radio programs. These are broadcast at high car speeds, without noise, buzz, crackle and level fluctuations.
The device is made with a technology "seamless blending". It is necessary when there is no good DAB broadcast signal. So the tuner automatically changes the radio to appropriate FM frequency without noticeable sound interruption.
- Hands-free phone calls
- Digital technology
- Advanced functions of control and search
- Wireless music streaming
- Wide range of radio programs
- 5 bluetooth audio sources
- CD player
- 2 USB ports
- Spotify control
- No speed dependent volume control
- Small transmitter buttons
JVC KD-X472DBT: USB car radio with DAB+ technology
This radio is suitable for all active people who spend all day in the car. The manufacturers of the device offer the advanced options to people who like to listen to music and wanted to stay hands-free while talking on the phone in the car. It is possible thanks to bluetooth handsfree in JVK radio.
There is one more benefit for the owners of this model. This is alexa app. With it you can not only listen to the most popular songs and tunes, but also make shopping list and get acquainted with current traffic situation. This app has a memory effect, therefore it can adapt to the voice of its owner and his wishes.
Thanks to DAB+ tuner, the digital radio receives more than 200 radio programs in Germany and other European countries where the DAB+ technology is extended.
- Digital sound processor
- Runtime correction
- Seamless blending function
- USB pairing for iphone
- Pairing for 2 cell phones
- Sound amplifier
- Optional adapter
- Without use manual
- Without DAB+ antenna
Radio device from alpine CDE-193BT
This device is equipped with some professional sound tuning functions. First of all you mean 3-way crossover. With it you can regulate high-pass filter and low-pass filter and their changes.
Other tuning features also include a professional equalizer, digital time correction, and "alpine’s" patented media expander technology, which ensures the excellent sound of compressed media slides.
If the car is equipped with a start-stop technology, this radio can work even after engine shutdown.
One of the advantages of this device is steering wheel remote control. It is convenient to drive without stopping. The bluetooth function also allows to make hands-free phone calls and broadcast popular tunes from cell phone.
- Professional equalizer
- Time correction
- LCD screen with 13 segments
- 3-way crossover
- steering wheel remote control
- Simple design
- Narrow screen
Kenwood KMM-BT306: USB car radio with spotify control
This is a new radio set that offers many German radio programs. It is equipped with alexa app, which provides additional intellectual functions. Here you can also find advanced music browsing profile AVRCP1.6.
This makes it easy to search for individual music tracks on the cell phone from the car radio. In parallel, the car owner can pair two cell phones to the radio.
The cell phone with spotify app can be connected to radio and get some functions. The car owner selects individual songs and melodies as well as the music list to listen to.
The device is suitable for MP3 and WMA as well as FLAC slides. Thanks to a special app, smartphones can serve as a radio remote control. These apps for kenwood devices are available for free in google play and app store.
- BT hands-free function
- BT audio streaming
- Spotify function
- Alexa app built-in
- Remote control
- Inconvenient menu navigation
- Sometimes muffled sound
Pioneer DEH-X9600BT: CD tuner with RDS, bluetooth, mixtrax EZ
A compact device for those who like to listen to music while driving. Pioneer model has simple and laconic design. You can control the button illumination and choose your own illumination color. Compared to the other devices, this radio has a graphic equalizer with 5 bands.
The functionality of the radio can be improved by the special apps. It is possible through the easy pairing of the cell phone to the device.
You can not hold the cell phone in your hand while driving. The phone calls are possible through bluetooth function of the radio.
The radio is equipped with mixtrax system. It allows to listen to music in automatic non-stop mix.
- CD, USB connection
- Mixtrax function
- ISO cables in set
- RGB lighting model
- Weight – 1,6 kg
- No volume function
Choosing a replacement or upgrade car radio for your vehicle is not an easy task. there are hundreds of models in different sizes, with different functions and at very different prices. Navigating through these options is not an easy project; it is easy to get confused and even easier to forget the purpose of the upgrade. We’ve put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know about car stereos to make sure you buy the right device. We explain all the features, style and size options to make it easy for you to go to your local mobile upgrade dealer. Are you ready? Then go for it.
Car radio buying guide: size options
Car radios are available in two basic sizes: DIN and double DIN. DIN size (or single DIN size) based on a 7 inch wide and 2 inch high standard. Most radios that would be called CD players fall into this class. The second standard is double DIN. It should come as no surprise that these radios are 4 inches high, with the same 7-inch width. Multimedia receivers with touchscreen displays are usually double DIN in size. Some radios have a double DIN display with a single DIN housing. the installation requirements are the same, but these units offer your installer more space behind the radio to mount interfaces and make electrical connections.
Although they are becoming less common, there are still single-DIN radios with a flip-out display. These radios have a screen that protrudes from the housing and then flips up to become visible. If you’re interested in a flip-out multimedia receiver, have your installer check that your vehicle has enough space around the radio’s mounting position for them to fit – screens don’t always stick out far enough.
in 2018, alpina introduced a multimedia receiver with a so-called floating-face design. This class of car radios uses a conventional single or double DIN housing with an oversized monitor mounted in front of the radio. The design allows for larger screens than a traditional device that fits in the dashboard.
Alpine is also responsible for the development of many vehicle-specific radio options. Using its 9- and 10-inch screen multimedia receivers with a custom dash kit and integrated controls, alpine provided vehicle-specific solutions for jeep, toyota, chevrolet, GMC, ram, honda and ford trucks and suvs.
car radio buying guide: mechless and digital media options
We’ve come a long way since under-dash 8-track players and slide-out cassette decks. Modern radios today come in two classes: with and without optical-disc transports. With a single-DIN, you can choose a receiver with a CD player, or save a few euros and forgo the CD part in favor of a "digital media" or "mechless" solution. The same goes for double DIN radios, as they can do without the DVD mechanism if they play their media from a smartphone or a USB storage device. If the radio has a color display and no optical transport, it is sometimes called a digital multimedia receiver.
car radio buying guide: screen and display options
For single-DIN radios, almost all radios on the market use a multi-segment liquid crystal display with multiple digits. the popularity of single-DIN receivers has declined dramatically, and almost none of the top brands include dot-matrix displays anymore. When shopping, look for devices with multi-line displays that can simultaneously show information about the interpreter and song title.
With double-DIN multimedia receivers, you have a choice between medium and large full-color LCD screens. The smaller screens are typically just over 6 inches (measured diagonally from opposite corners). Larger options are about 7 inches in size. Radios with floating screens typically measure about 8 inches.
as for the user interface, the less expensive options use what is known as a resistive touchscreen. These devices have a thin plastic film over the display that has a satin, anti-reflective surface. For higher-end devices, manufacturers may opt for a capacitive touch interface. your smartphone uses a capacitive touch interface. You directly touch the glass on the front of the device. It is worth mentioning that capacitive touch surfaces do not work with gloves or a non-conductive stylus. The advantage is that the picture is much clearer and often brighter. Capacitive displays can detect multiple touch points at once, while resistive devices can only detect a single location.
most multimedia radios have a display resolution called wide VGA (WVGA). This standard is 800 pixels wide and 480 pixels high. A few high-end radios use a high-definition display with 1280 by 720 pixels.
Many CD receivers have a multicolor display backlight that you can adjust. You can set these colors to match or contrast with your vehicle’s interior to add some style. With multimedia radios, you can sometimes upload new background images to personalize the system.
car radio buying guide: bluetooth handsfree and music streaming
bluetooth is now standard on all car stereos except the cheapest ones. Bluetooth is a low-power, short-range digital communication protocol. In and of itself, it does not prescribe any special functions. If you want to make hands-free calls, make sure that the radio you choose has the hands-free profile (HFP). If you want to be able to navigate your phone’s contact list, pay attention to the phonebook access profile (PBAP). The inclusion of an external microphone greatly improves the sound quality of the outgoing call compared to radios with built-in microphones.
To stream music, the radio must include the advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP). If you want to be able to change tracks on the bluetooth device from your phone, the audio video remote control profile (AVRCP) is required.
radios that support multiple bluetooth connections usually have one device for hands-free calling and the other for streaming audio. check the functionality on the display device in the store to make sure it works the way you want it to work.
car stereo buying guide: smartphone connectivity
years ago, the ability to play music from your iphone was the biggest problem with car stereos. Today, we take this connectivity for granted. If you have an older ipod or iphone, check the specifications for the connectivity options. Apple often discontinues support for older devices. "made for ipod" does not mean "for all ipods". as always, test connectivity with your media player or phone before you buy.
Apple carplay and android auto smartphone connectivity solutions include a hands-free interface that allows you to use frequently used features of your phone while keeping your eyes on the road. Making phone calls, sending text messages, getting navigation directions, and selecting the music you want can all be done with voice commands.
Many premium source devices feature wireless carplay and android auto. These radios communicate with your smartphone via a wi-fi connection to transfer information and data at impressive speeds. remember that your smartphone will not charge if it is in your pocket or purse. ask your dealer about installing a wireless charging station for your new radio.
car radio buying advice: digital media support
Most of us buy our music from online sources like itunes or convert store-bought cds to digital formats like MP3 or FLAC. If you have a large digital media collection, make sure the radio you have your eye on can play it. Support for MP3, WMA and AAC files is pretty much standard on low to mid-range models. The next step up is support for WAV and FLAC files. If the radio has sufficient computing power, DSD file support can also be integrated.
the ability to play FLAC files does not automatically mean that the source device is capable of playing all files. High-resolution files with sample rates above 48 khz are not inherently compatible unless specified. There are also limits to the number of tracks that can be stored in a single folder on a device, and limits to the total number of tracks the radio can access. test the usb-stick, sd-card, micro-sd-card, cd or dvd you use to store music before you buy it in the store to confirm compatibility. file limits often vary depending on storage device and format.
Video playback standards vary widely from format to format. Check the user manual to see which containers are supported (AVI, FLV, MPG or MKV) and which audio (MP3, AAC, FLAC or PCM) and video files (MPEG1,2, MPEG4 or H.264). test the video files you want to play. Some may need to be re-encoded with different audio or video formats.
Not all source devices have powered USB ports that can charge a smartphone or digital media player. Similarly, newer devices that use USB-C or require more than 1.0 amp of charging current may not charge quickly or at all. again, it’s best to test your radio with the cable before you buy it.
Some source devices have two USB ports. functionality and features can vary widely between connections. Don’t assume you can do the same thing.
car radio buying guide: options for rearview and surveillance cameras
Most multimedia receivers have an input for a rearview camera on the back of the radio. In some vehicles, the signal from a factory-installed camera works with the radio. If you don’t have a camera, your dealer can install one for you. Some premium radios have multiple camera inputs or have optional multi-camera input and switching modules. You should check with your dealer to make sure that the existing camera is working and that the image is displayed automatically. If you are interested in integrating blind spot, charging, and front-facing cameras, additional hardware may be required.
Kenwood offers several dashcam systems that integrate with your multimedia receivers. The cameras can display alerts on your radio’s screen to make driving safer.
Many multimedia receivers take a while to start up. They are, after all, small computers (they typically run versions of windows CE, linux and android). If you have an application that includes a rearview camera, make sure the camera image is available when you need it. Sony currently sets the bar with a fully functional wake-up within five seconds. Most high-quality multimedia devices can display a camera image within one or two seconds of being turned on, and are fully operational within six or seven seconds. Much longer, and you might find using these source devices frustrating.
car stereo buying guide: preamp and power specifications
Almost all radios have some sort of amplifier IC built in to drive the speakers. Since the radio is limited to 12 volts, most radios produce between 15 and 22 watts of power per channel. Check the manual to confirm the CTA-2006 specification for the model you want to use. More power means the radio plays louder without distortion.
If you plan to upgrade your audio system with external amplifiers, you will need a radio that has preamplifier outputs. To ensure that your audio system sounds as good as possible, look for preamplifiers with a voltage of 4 or 5 volts. This extra voltage (compared to 1.8 or 2 volts) allows your installer to turn down the sensitivity controls on the amplifiers while maintaining the same output level. the result is less hiss and background noise. Speaking of noise, you’ll want a radio with a good signal-to-noise ratio. values around 80 db are good for the built-in power amplifier; for the preamplifier outputs, you should look for a value of more than 90 db.
buying guide for car radios: signal processing characteristics
today, most radios have tone controls that range from simple bass and treble adjustments to graphic multiband equalizers with presets. Since matching the output of your speakers to the acoustics of your vehicle is critical to good sound, more adjustability is better. your installer can use a real-time analyzer (RTA) to adjust the system to ensure consistent playback.
If you plan to add a subwoofer, you should use a radio with electronic high-pass and low-pass crossovers. These filters remove bass from the signal going to the small speakers in the vehicle and prevent high frequency information from reaching the subwoofer amplifier. High-quality radios have more crossovers and adjustable edges so your technician can fine-tune the system’s performance.
Signal delay (often incorrectly referred to as time delay) is a great way to further enhance the realism of an audio system. When properly configured, the signal going to the speakers closest to the listener is delayed so that their output signal arrives at the same time as that of the speakers on the other side of the vehicle. This alignment of the signals helps to create an impressive and detailed focus on the so-called soundstage. Listening to music in a system configured with signal delay, proper level adjustment, and appropriate equalization is like sitting in the front row of a concert with all the performers in front of you.
Many radios include systems for restoring bass and treble. This processing is intended for radio broadcasts or highly compressed digital audio sources to add information that has been lost. You can experiment with the settings to find a solution that sounds good to you.
car radio buying guide: user interface
The last issue we address is the user interface. Whether you choose an inexpensive single-DIN radio or a state-of-the-art multimedia receiver with carplay and navigation, make sure the user interface is intuitive and easy to use. while viewing the product in the store, try changing the source, adjusting the tone controls, and making a phone call. If you can figure out these features without needing the owner’s manual, chances are you’ll enjoy using the radio.
For multimedia radios, many units with a 6.2-inch display have a volume control dial. many people find this method of volume control much easier and more intuitive. keep this in mind when shopping.
car radio buying guide: warranty and support
ask your dealer about the warranty on your new radio. Most devices are covered by a one to three year warranty against manufacturing defects. In some cases, this warranty is reduced to 90 days if the product is not installed by an authorized dealer. These warranties do not cover future functionality. If a new phone comes on the market that uses different technology, the manufacturer is not responsible for making the system compatible. Also, if you damage the unit due to improper care (scratches on the screen or damage due to improper cleaning), this may not be covered.
If the radio you buy has GPS navigation, find out how you can get map updates and how much they will cost.
final tips and considerations when choosing bluetooth car radios
If you want to upgrade your car with a bluetooth stereo, there are two main ways to do it:
Universal bluetooth adapter
if your current car stereo has an aux input, the easiest and cheapest option is to purchase a universal bluetooth adapter. It doesn’t offer any bells and whistles, but it gets the job done. And it can be easily moved from one vehicle to another if needed.
Retrofit bluetooth stereo system
With an aftermarket bluetooth car radio, you can choose exactly the features you want. If budget is an issue, you can buy a simple model with few features. However, if you prefer a full-featured device, you can get a bluetooth stereo with everything from built-in GPS to a rearview camera.
There are a variety of functions that a bluetooth stereo device can provide. Below you will find a list of the most desirable options.
Streaming playlists from your smartphone may be the reason you want to buy a bluetooth car radio, but the best models can also play cds and dvds, have a usb input for media or charging, accept microsds and more.
If you want to communicate with someone while driving, you need a hands-free device. the right bluetooth stereo can make this possible.
Steering wheel controls
Some models allow you to access the most commonly used controls via buttons on the steering wheel. If this sounds appealing, look for a model with this feature.
Since most people don’t think about how to get to their destination until they get into a vehicle, having a reliable GPS to guide them is a must.
Rear view camera
At best it can be difficult to see what is behind your vehicle, especially if you have a van. A rearview camera gives you a clear and detailed picture of what’s behind you, even when it’s dark outside.
For about 10 to 30 U.S. dollars, you can get a universal bluetooth adapter that plugs into the aux input of your existing car radio. An aftermarket bluetooth car radio, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $50 to over $300, depending on how many of the above features you want.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Which version of bluetooth do i need?
Bluetooth is backward compatible, d. H. A bluetooth 5 cell phone works with a bluetooth 4.2-car radio. However, to get the best performance, both components (phone and car stereo) must have the latest bluetooth version. Otherwise, the connection is only as advanced as the oldest bluetooth version – in the example above, that would be bluetooth 4.2.
What is double DIN?
DIN stands for german institute for standardization, which develops internationally recognized standards for a wide range of products. A simple DIN car radio means that the opening in your dashboard (where you will place your car radio) is 2 inches high. A double DIN means that the opening is 4 inches high.
Non-stop music with super radio!
the digital car radios are top of the line devices for every driver, as they can already perform many functions. On the one hand, they perfectly receive the radio signals and offer the best sound. On the other hand, they can ensure the hands-free phone calls while driving.
Thanks to digital sound processor you can make the sound in the car clearer. The equalizer with 13 bands controls the frequency response. A digital runtime correction allows the regulation of the acoustic characteristics in the car interior.
It is known that digital radio is mandatory in germany for new cars since december 2020. The newly manufactured cars must be equipped only with DAB+ devices. It only remains to choose a suitable model and brand and enjoy the best technology DAB+.
As you can see, there are dozens of options to choose from. Make a list of which options are most important to you, and that will help narrow down your search to a manageable size. Using the filters within our car stereo pages will help you choose exactly the car stereo that is just for you.
Hello all! My name is paul meyer auto mechanic. In this blog I give advice on car care. I would appreciate your comments.