In a car, the car radio is undoubtedly the best companion during our journeys of daily life. Today, they are mostly equipped with a Bluetooth connection, navigate with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, or even watch videos on a touch screen. Several manufacturers (such as Sony or Pioneer) offer many references and it can be very easy to get lost, especially with respect to compatibility with your vehicle. Find our guide to find the best autoradios Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
From day to day, the technology continues to improve to make our comfort more comfortable when driving a vehicle. For this, these "connected" car radios allow you to always keep your eyes on the road, while taking advantage of the features of your smartphone.
On the market, we find today two widely used solutions: Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These two systems offer a similar user experience that allows you to connect your smartphone to USB or Bluetooth to enjoy the full content of your phone: GPS functions (with Google Maps or Plans), receive / transmit calls and SMS, listen music streaming via Spotify, Apple Music or other with good sound quality, and many others. Everything is managed thanks to the voice commands which allow to offer the motorists a certain freedom while driving.
These car radios allow especially to improve the driving. Without disturbing the concentration on the road, they give us tons of information in real time (weather, road conditions, alternative roads …). This is clearly a hands-free kit significantly improved.
Sony and Pioneer are two important players in this market and offer many models, all different. We have selected the best references to help you in your choice. Follow the guide !
The Sony XAV-AX3005: our recommendation
The Sony car radios are a guarantee of quality and the XAV-AX3005 is one of the most complete models to enjoy a "connected" and complete experience in your car. In the double DIN format, it is nevertheless connected to the upper compartment to allow the 6.95-inch screen to cover the entire surface of the two compartments (ie 10 centimeters in height). The user experience is as intuitive as on a smartphone and opens access to many features available on your phone (music, calls / SMS, etc.).
Its audio rendering allows it to offer a good musical experience during your trips, with an EXTRA BASS feature to improve the depth. It also benefits from compatibility with DAB + (digital radio), which is roughly the TNT television for FM radio.
Obviously, the Sony car stereo is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so naturally supports Google Assistant and Siri for voice commands.
Why choose the Sony XAV-AX3005?
An intuitive and complete experience
DAB + compatible
The quality of Sony sound with EXTRA BASS functionality
The Sony XAV-AX3005 model is usually offered around 400 euros.
Find the Sony XAV-AX3005 on Amazon
Pioneer SPH-DA230DAB: the price / quality ratio
The Pioneer SPH-DA230DAB car stereo is a real media player to put inside your vehicle. With its 7-inch touch screen, it offers intuitive connectivity with most smartphones. Its amplification offers a power of 4 x 50 W, which offers a good sound quality.
Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, it is very easy to connect your smartphone (or tablet) via USB or Bluetooth so that the smartphone menu is accessible on the touch screen. The USB port also allows you to connect other devices such as a USB key containing your favorite contents. It is also DAB + compatible for radio.
Note that it is possible to connect two smartphones simultaneously.
Why turn to the Pioneer SPH-DA230DAB?
A real car media player
Great compatibility with different audio and video formats
A good price-performance ratio
The Pioneer SPH-DA230DAB car radio is usually displayed below the 400 euro mark.
Find the Pioneer SPH-DA230DAB on Amazon
Sony XAV-AX100: the alternative
The Sony XAV-AX100 is a car model in dual DIN format. It offers a touch screen 6.4 inches (a diagonal of 16.3 cm) which is rather responsive and good quality. From the interface, you can easily access most of the features of your smartphone. Thanks to the 4 x 55 W amplification, it offers a very satisfactory audio quality.
Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, navigation is greatly facilitated via Google Maps and Maps. By integrating voice commands, just talk to him to choose a route, change music.
This model is also available with a DVD player option, but it is also possible to connect other devices such as a rear view camera (which requires precise knowledge of the installation).
Why opt for the Sony XAV-AX100?
The sound quality
Possibility of adding a DVD player and a reversing camera
A good price-performance ratio
As the reference Pioneer above, the Sony XAV-AX100 can easily be less than 400 euros.
Find the Sony XAV-AX100 on Amazon
Pioneer, Car Multimedia: the sliding screen
The Pioneer Car Multimedia model is a 1 DIN car radio, the size of a single 5 cm high compartment. By deploying the touch screen (which is convenient not to attract the curiosity of thieves), it turns on and connects directly to your Bluetooth iPhone or Android smartphone. The interface is well organized and offers a lot of customization options, such as brightness, colors and even icons.
Compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, navigation is greatly facilitated via Google Maps and Maps, but it is also possible to use services like Waze. It offers excellent sound quality thanks to its 4 x 50 W amplification, but it is especially designed to connect other speakers with the presence of three pre-amplified RCA jacks.
Why choose the Pioneer Car Multimedia?
Model 1 DIN
More discreet with the deployable screen
Possibility of connecting additional speakers
A little more expensive than the other models in this guide, the Pioneer Car Multimedia is available at more than 500 euros.
Find the Pioneer Car Multimedia on Amazon
How to choose your car radio?
Now that you've seen different car models compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, now you need to know which one is compatible with your car. For this, there is more information to consider.
Size: 1 DIN or 2 DIN?
The term "DIN" refers to the size of the space provided for the car radio in the car. On the market, there are only two formats: 1 DIN or 2 DIN (double DIN).
The 1 DIN car radios are about 5 cm high, this is the standard location found on most car models. They offer the advantage of convenience due to their reduced size in comparison to the double DIN, with usually a removable part to store your car radio in the glove box.
The 2 DIN car radios are double, about 10 cm high. It is therefore necessary that the car integrates two compartments to accommodate a car radio of this size. If this is not the case, the storage compartment underneath your radio compartment may (in some cases) be used as a secondary compartment to install a dual DIN radio. Often, they have the advantage of offering a screen that can reach up to 7 inches with many options.
Do not hesitate to consult the manual of your vehicle to know its specificities before breaking for a new car radio.
Do I need to make additional purchases?
If the car radio is compliant with the ISO standard (followed by a large majority of car manufacturers), it installs easily, because compatible with your vehicle. However, this is not always the case depending on the different models. Brands can then offer adapters to make connections at:
The power supply: if it is not ISO compatible, then it will be necessary to provide a compatible ISO beam according to the brand of your car radio.
The antenna: similarly, an antenna adapter will correct the problem if the car radio is not ISO compatible.
Speakers: The majority of vehicles are equipped with 4 speakers and car radios are generally suitable for this configuration. However, some older vehicles may have fewer speakers in the passenger compartment. It will be necessary to buy new speakers if you want to make the most of the sound of your new car radio.
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