Welcome to our great car radio test 2022. Here we present you all the car radios we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the net.
We would like to make your buying decision easier and help you find the best car radio for you.
You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guidebook. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, on this page you will also find some important information that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a car radio.
The most important in a nutshell
- Car radios offer you an unforgettable music experience, no matter where your journey takes you. They are available in different price and quality classes.
- You can also choose your own music program and play your favorite songs at any time using various additional functions.
- The main functions of such mobile radios are a CD, MP3 and DVD player, as well as the so-called DAB function. It is up to you to decide which of these features are most important to you.
car radio test: editors’ favorites
The best car radio with bluetooth
Last price updates: amazon.De (30.01.22, 11:14 am), other stores (23.11.21, 13:20]
With a new price of just under 110 euros (normal price), the sony DSX-A410BT car radio is clearly in the upper price range, but the good quality and the many technical features justify this without a doubt.
The sony DSX-A410BT measures 11.9 x 17.8 x 5 cm and weighs 798 grams. The additional functions of the sony DSX-A410BT car radio are also quite impressive. bluetooth makes wireless connection between radio and smartphone or ipod easy and uncomplicated. The device is also equipped with a hands-free kit.
The best car radio with navi
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The XOMAX XM-DN763 car radio is a real all-rounder. It not only has a 7 inch retractable screen, but also an 18 inch touchscreen, bluetooth handsfree and connections for front and rear camera. In addition, a GPS navigation is integrated, which is equipped with maps of Europe.
All the standard main functions such as CD and MP3 players are of course supported. In addition, the radio can access the android play store, play music via spotify and stream videos via youtube. In addition, you can use this device to watch cds and dvds or. Listen.
The best car radio with USB connection
If you are looking for a simple but functional car radio with CD, USB and AUX input, the KD-T402 model from JVC is just what you need. This model also has an additional charging function for smartphones and co.
With the help of the three-band tone control, you can individually adjust the sound of the vehicle acoustics to your personal listening taste. In addition, 15 pre-programmed sound memories offer sound adjustments for virtually any music genre.
The best cheap car radio
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The PEARL car radio is with just 22 euros to the cheaper price range. Compared to more expensive models that offer similar features and quality, this model is definitely up to par. With the car radio from PEARL, you can easily stream music from your smartphone or other music device.
In addition, this device is characterized by its integrated speakerphone, bluetooth function and a USB port. The device measures 189 x 58 x 155 mm and weighs 468 g, which makes it the perfect size for a 1-DIN slot. The price-performance ratio of this device from PEARL is simply unbeatable!
Guide: questions you should ask yourself before buying a car radio
In addition to deciding which main features your car radio should have, there are a few other important points to consider when choosing the right model for you.
What useful additional features are there??
Among the most popular upgrades are:
- Navigation system
- Good sound quality
Fortunately, there are now car radios with integrated navi, which allows you to enjoy your favorite music and reliable directions in one device. modern car radios with a screen not only tell you the way via loudspeaker, but even make it possible to follow the route by displaying a map.
Good sound quality
If your car radio produces an unpleasant sound or the radio makes noise, you will not only be dissatisfied, but your driving safety will also suffer if you are constantly operating the car radio while driving because it is not working according to your wishes.
To remove the radio every time you turn off the car makes little sense of course. With some models, however, the front panel can be removed and can thus be brought relatively quickly and easily out of the field of vision of thieves.
If the choice is yours, you should always opt for detachable mounts for smartphones, navigation systems etc. Decide and then really stow them away when leaving the car in a place not visible from the outside.
Another tip is not to leave anything on the driver and passenger seat. This way the crooks may not even notice your car and in the best case your car radio will be spared as well.
In case of theft, you will need the model number and other important markings for any insurance that may be available. So it is advisable to write them down or even take photos of your device.
How much does a car stereo cost??
The cheapest models are available from about 25 euros. In most cases, however, these radios only have a conventional radio integrated, which you operate with a few buttons. However, state-of-the-art and top-equipped systems can cost up to 475 euros, which is why a thorough research pays off in any case!
Currently you have to pay for car radios with CD playback function prices starting at 70 euros. However, compared to one of the simpler models, there are often additional features such as call answering and search function, which justify the significantly higher price.
The simplest models with MP3 function are available from around 30 euros and are therefore relatively affordable. the interface and menu of these radios are rather simple and inferior.
Also for systems with DAB function the price range is extremely wide. The cheapest models are available for as little as 90 euros, while devices with a number of additional features can cost up to 350 euros. Among the most modern models are car radios with the possibility of, dvds play. If you value good sound and picture quality, you should expect to pay between 375 and 450 euros.
|car radio with CD player
||from ca. 70€
|car radio with MP3 function
||from approx. 30€
|car radio with DAB function
||from ca. 90€
|car radio with DVD player
||from ca. 375€
Where can I buy and sell a car radio and accessories??
- Media market
Depending on your preference, you can find a wide range of car radios both traditionally in local stores and from the comfort of your home in online stores.
Probably the greatest advantage of a visit to one of the local stores offer highly competent salespeople who can make your decision easier with expert advice and also answer any questions you may have about the various devices and their handling.
If you prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home, you should check with online platforms like amazon.De and ebay.De familiarize. these have boomed in the last few years and are no longer inferior to traditional stores in terms of the range of products on offer.
On the contrary, through the search function it is possible to compare all brands in terms of price and quality with just one click of the mouse!
websites such as willhaben or geizhals also offer you the opportunity to take on the role of the seller yourself. You can look for a new owner for your radio or get hold of used models at a bargain price.
Another plus point for online stores is authentic user feedback and testimonials, which gives you a realistic and truthful picture of the quality and handling of the product.
Also for all additional products that can bring your music experience in the car to a whole new level, the above dealers offer a wide range and professional advice. The only important thing is to make sure that the accessories you want are compatible with your car radio.
Where can I have my car radio installed and how much does it cost??
In every older car there are three important cables for the radio: ground (usually black), continuous plus (usually yellow) and ignition plus (usually red). 12 volts must be present between ground and steady plus and also between ground and ignition plus when the ignition is switched on for the radio to work. If it’s not 12V, there’s either a problem with the ISO connector or the plugs of the ignition positive and permanent positive are not plugged together. In newer cars the ignition plus is replaced by a CAN-bus cable, so you may need to buy a CAN-bus adapter when connecting a radio to a newer car.
In most cases, the easiest way is to have the car radio installed directly by the seller himself. Often this is included in the price as an additional service and thus inexpensive and done in a few minutes. Also almost all car and electronics dealers offer installation services. And that without long waiting times for an appointment.
Where can I get my device repaired and how much does it cost??
Depending on the extent of the problem or damage, the cost of repair will vary.
If the insurance does not cover the damage, you will have to pay for the spare parts on the one hand, and for the labor hours of a professional on the other hand.
How much watt / volt has a car radio and can I also use it at home?
Watt is defined as power. the wattage describes what the device can physically deliver or consume. So this value is rather marginal for us. Volt is the physical unit of voltage. This value indicates with how many volts the respective device functions correctly.
Most car radios need 12 volt. A fully charged car battery has at least 12.2, sometimes up to 24 volts. the operation of a car radio should therefore not be a problem in normal cases. some systems need up to 24 volts, which would overstrain a weaker car battery. It is therefore advisable to check all values for compatibility before buying.
If you would like to use your music system outside the car, you will need a suitable power supply for it.
It has the main task of converting the alternating current that comes from all electrical outlets into direct current needed by your radio. It also ensures that the connected device receives the necessary voltage.
What are the alternatives to car radios?
A clear advantage is that you don’t have to buy an extra device for it. Probably you have on your cell phone, laptop, tablet etc. anyway, a lot of music tracks and playlists are stored, so you don’t have to do anything more than just press play before you drive off.
However, this variant is still not ideal, since the speaker function of most smartphones does not come close to that of modern car radios. Using a laptop is not the perfect solution either, because it is extremely impractical to take it with you every time you go to the car. Plus, you run a certain risk of leaving it in the cab during a stop.
Another option would be to go to a portable soundbox to invest. Depending on your expectations of sound quality, a starting price of around 15 euros is a much better deal than buying a car radio.
Even some of the extremely affordable models are equipped with bluetooth. The connection is wireless and you don’t have to deal with annoying cables.
Another plus point is that you can use your smartphone for this as well. so you don’t have to worry about downloading tracks to a storage device if you already have your favorite tracks stored on your phone.
However, a clear disadvantage of soundboxes as an alternative to a traditional car radio is that you have to do without the above-mentioned additional functions such as navi, CD and DVD player. It would be also conceivable, instead of the radio a tablet install. At prices between 250 and 500 euros, the modern mini-laptop is more expensive than most car radios, but it offers an incredible number of additional functions.
Starting with the main factor, playing music, through to navigation, real-time traffic information, internet access, touch control and much more. The most modern models even offer apps with info on gas prices, parking and speed cameras, as well as a rear view camera. so if you are willing to invest a little more, a tablet is definitely a good overall package.
decision: what types of car radios are there and which is the right one for you?
Hardly anything makes longer road trips or even shorter errands more entertaining than good music. Most car radios are now equipped with a number of functions, making it almost impossible to decide on the best model.
The following are some of the main features:
- CD player
- MP3 player
- DAB function
- DVD player
Each of these features brings with it individual advantages and disadvantages. We have described the main distinguishing criteria in a little more detail, so that you can find the perfect device for you more easily.
Systems with CD players and their advantages and disadvantages
Although there are now far more modern ways to listen to music on the road thanks to MP3 and online streaming services, favorite cds are still an absolute must for most on any road trip.
- value for money
- Cds are a classic for most people
- Standard on almost all devices
- Cds take up a lot of space
- They scratch easily
- You have to change them
A cd player, along with the radio function, is therefore undoubtedly still one of the most sought-after standard features of a car radio.
Car radio with MP3 function and its advantages and disadvantages
With lack of space in the car, which is of course made worse by countless cds, probably struggles everyone. MP3-capable car radios offer the ideal solution to this problem! They allow you to play songs from USB sticks or MP3 players.
- Standard with almost all devices
- You must have a suitable storage medium
- You have to create your playlists in advance
Simply load your favorite music onto the desired storage medium in advance, connect it to the music system and off you go! Here you don’t even have to choose one of the two functions, since most MP3-capable devices can also play cds anyway.
Models with DAB function and their advantages and disadvantages
For all those who have a particularly varied taste in music and also do not want to worry in advance about the right playlist, car radios with DAB function are exactly the right thing.
- A lot of variety through different stations
- Space saving
- Interruptions during bad reception
They allow you to receive radio over the internet. Not only do they offer one of the most convenient and uncomplicated ways to be entertained on the road, but they also have an almost unlimited number of channels to choose from. The downside of these modern radios, however, is their considerably higher price.
Car radio with DVD player and its advantages and disadvantages
Be it to bridge longer waiting times during traffic jams, or to calm down the kids after several hours of driving – movies and series are usually a welcome distraction. And thanks to DVD-enabled car radios, even while driving is no longer an impossibility.
- Welcome distraction for passengers
- Danger source
- Dvds need space
Here, too, you don’t necessarily have a choice, as almost all DVD-enabled car radios also have standard functions such as CD and radio. However, watching TV while driving is a distraction and should be reserved for passengers only.
Buying criteria: these are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate car radios
Whether the purchase of a certain model is worthwhile for you and whether it meets your requirements is often difficult to judge in advance. In order to make it easier for you to compare the devices, we have listed and described the most important buying criteria below.
Before buying, you should definitely consider the following points:
- Station memory
- Playable formats
- Output power
- Radio tuner
- Hands-free / voice control
- Touchscreen / screen
- USB / SD / AUX
- Remote control
In the following paragraphs you can read about what you should look for in the individual factors and form an opinion about which are of great importance to you.
One of the first questions you should ask yourself when choosing a product is whether the car radio you want will fit in your car. The slot in the center console of a car, in which you install the radio, is standardized according to the so-called DIN standard. Conveniently, the dimensions of most car radios are also based on this system.
A distinction is made between 1DIN (single DIN) and 2DIN (double DIN) installation sizes. The 1DIN slot measures 180mm x 50mm, although the depth of the device may vary. The single DIN bay format is especially common in older vehicles.
In the more modern ones, on the other hand, you will find mostly double DIN slots. These have dimensions of 180mm x 100mm, whereby the depth of the bay can vary from car to car.
Especially modern car radios with large screens are often exceptions and not standardized according to the unit system. To be on the safe side, you should always read the operating instructions carefully or seek professional advice before choosing a specific model.
There is hardly anything more unpleasant than having to search for and tune in your favorite radio stations every time before driving off. Fortunately, this problem can be solved by most car radios, since they are equipped with an integrated memory.
Basically the storage works the same for all car radios. Simply tune in to the desired station, select settings or options in the menu, decide on a memory number by means of key-click or touch and confirm.
An important criterion here is the storage capacity of the device. The number of stations that can be stored.
Almost all models distinguish between VHF (ultra short wave) and MW (medium wave) stations differentiated. The easiest way to find out how many stations can be recorded from which frequency range is to read the user manual. The average radio usually has between 15 and 20 spots to store your favorite stations.
Which formats a car radio can process and play depends primarily on the available main functions. As already mentioned above CD and MP3 player comes as standard with almost every car radio.
WMA (windows media audio) is a format used for lossy compression of audio data. Noise that the human ear can’t hear is removed to save memory space. in principle it works the same way as the MP3 method, but it loses quality depending on the bitrate.
Other lossy formats are the ACC (advanced audio coding) and this REIFF WAVE (waveform audio file format) procedure. FLAC (free lossless audio codec) is a codec for lossless audio data compression. because this format requires huge amounts of storage space, it is rarely used.
How much power does a car radio actually need to play music in acceptable quality and volume?? Many people expect the answer to this question from the power rating of the device, which is often 45 to even 60 watts.
However, the values given in the operating instructions are hardly meaningful nowadays. Because of the low operating voltage, which is 12 volts for most models, often only 20 watts per channel are possible.
In almost all user manuals you will find specifications such as 4 x 60 watt. This means that the radio can handle 2 x 60 watts in the front and 2 x 60 watts in the back. 60 watt is not a continuous power, but the maximum peak.
an amplifier should always have about 20 to 30 percent more power than the loudspeaker can handle, so as not to overload it.
The word tuner, which means "to tune" or "to tune in", comes from the english and is the receiving part of a radio. Transmitters transmit radio signals simultaneously, but on different frequencies. The tuner is connected downstream of the antenna input and filters out the desired signal.
The different frequency ranges have different characteristics. A distinction is made primarily between LW, MW, KW and VHF. With LW (long wave) and MW(medium wave) with only one transmitter you can reach whole europe, with KW (short wave) even the whole world can be reached.
The range of the VHF (ultra shortwave) is limited by the horizon of electromagnetic wave propagation. DAB stands for "digital audio broadcasting" and describes the digital distribution of audio signals via antenna.
Every DAB-capable car radio can receive FM as well as the new digital radio programs. Depending on the equipment, you can also use other digital standards such as web radio via LAN or WLAN. you have already heard the terms AM and FM. however, these are not frequencies, but modulation types.
AM (amplitude modulation) is much simpler and is usually used on LW, MW and KW. By FM (frequency modulation), using FM, better sound and audio quality can be achieved.
Too many cables in the car are not only extremely inconvenient, but can also be a source of danger in the worst case scenario. Bluetooth should simplify digital data transfer. It replaces cumbersome cables, allowing wireless connection with other bluetooth-enabled devices, such as a smartphone.
Handsfree / voicecontrol
Since 2001, talking on the phone while driving has been strictly forbidden. Failure to comply with this instruction will result in a fine of at least 50 euros, and in some cases, criminal charges. However, this prohibition can be circumvented by the use of a hands-free system.
bluetooth allows you to connect your cell phone to the car radio and easily answer calls and make phone calls. A microphone is either directly built into car radios with hands-free function or can be connected via an external device.
Some models can be controlled by voice control. This way you can avoid the often confusing operation via keys and you will also no longer be tempted to be distracted by what is happening on the road.
touch screen / display
No more problems with small buttons and complicated menus that distract from driving!
Car radios with screens offer a user-friendly, easy-to-use interface, completely in color and even with touchscreen function if required. When playing music, the album cover and release date are displayed along with the song title and artist, making it much easier for you to find new songs.
USB / SD / AUX
the radio and cd function of a car stereo have always been the most important main functions of a car stereo. especially with the rapid development of technology in the field of music processing, a lot has changed in this regard. many people prefer to manage their favorite tracks digitally on a laptop or smartphone instead of having to deal with bulky cds.
Most car radios are now equipped with USB, SD card and AUX connections so that you can still play your favorite songs on the road.
USB sticks and SD cards allow you as a storage medium, tracks from your laptop or computer conveniently and handy to have everywhere with you. this no longer requires hundreds of cds, but only a few centimeters large stick or a usually even smaller memory card.
Through a AUX connection you can link a cell phone to your car radio and use it as a loudspeaker in principle. The operation works normally via your smartphone, but you can also enjoy the music through the high quality speakers of your mobile radio.
Much easier and more convenient than CD’s or radio is the USB connection. For example, if you have your favorite music stored on your iPod, you can easily connect it to your radio with a USB cable and enjoy the music.
Many car radios can now be controlled from a distance using small remote controls. First of all, this may sound impractical, because on the one hand they can get lost and on the other hand you have to change the batteries from time to time.
For most users, however, remote controls are a great help and extremely practical, as they allow passengers in the back seat to control the music program and the user interface and buttons are usually very clearly laid out.
modern radios even eliminate the disadvantages of an additional device, because they can be conveniently controlled via your radio smartphone let control. With bluetooth you can connect the devices and control the radio via an app. This program is either pre-installed on your cell phone or can be found in the app store under the model name of your car radio.
trivia: interesting facts about car radios
When was the car radio invented??
In the early 1920s in chicago, a battery radio was installed in a stationary car for the first time. Almost at the same time, the same attempt was successful in England – since then, the development of this successful model has been unstoppable!
Two of the most earth-shattering inventions of the 20th century. In the beginning of the twentieth century, the car and the radio were undoubtedly the most important. It took only a few years for these two developments to come together and lay the foundation for the rapid development that has taken place in this field since then.
Did you know that the first car radio in europe hung above the footwell of the passenger seat??
The "autosuper AS 5" was so large that it did not fit in the dashboard and therefore had to hang above the passenger side footwell. A remote control for operating the radio was clamped to the steering wheel. However, hardly anyone could afford it, as it was very expensive with a price of 465 reichsmark.
paul galvin, founder of the telecommunications company motorola, is considered the inventor of the car radio. Born and raised in harvard, he attended the institute of technology in illinois after graduating from high school, where he discovered his interest in technology and even had one of the main libraries named after him.
in 1929, the successful model, then known as "motor radio," caught the attention of larger manufacturers, and just one year later it experienced its breakthrough.
What is the most expensive car radio in the world??
The burmester music system in the maybach pullman is currently regarded as the most luxurious car radio in the world. The maybach pullman is equipped not only with conventional loudspeakers in the doors and footwell, but also with two speakers on the vehicle ceiling.
The unique 3D surround-sound system is designed to provide a unique music experience while driving. The cheaper version is available from a value of 8.000 euros, the top version from 25.000 euro.
Did you know that the first commercially sold car radio from 1930 was called "motor-welle"??
Not only was galvin’s company named "motorola," but his first car radio was also named "motorola" before that. the company later took over the name of the radio. The word "motorola" is a combination of the word "motor" and the Spanish word "ola," which means wave. Here, wave presumably means the sound wave.
How will car radios develop in the future??
Just a few years ago, functions such as playing movies or connecting wirelessly to other devices via a car radio would have been unthinkable. Due to the rapid progress of technology, this and much more became possible within a very short time and we can look forward to what the future will bring in this area.
A huge trend will go according to experts in any case in the direction of Internet connection. Thanks to modern LTE (long term evolution) radio technology, broadband internet connections are even possible in cars. Movies and music as well as service messages, such as a reminder to change a tire, will make driving even more entertaining and convenient in the future.