Best Bluetooth Car Stereo

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Looking for a single din Bluetooth car stereo?

Very easy to use.  This is a top seller in our shop as it comes with a lot of features for the money. This model features Bluetooth handsfree calling, Bluetooth audio streaming, front USB/Aux, multicolor illumination and voice dial capability.

Pioneer DEH-X6700BT Bluetooth Car Stereo

Estimated read time: 3 minutes 21 seconds.  Want to read later?

Nearly every day in my own shop I help customers upgrade to a Bluetooth car stereo.  Most consumers are simply looking to upgrade their basic stock stereo in order to add the latest features such as Bluetooth, USB and Aux.  For this type of consumer, I typically recommend the Pioneer DEH-X6700BT or the Alpine CDE-143BT.  Both are easy to use and feature Bluetooth handsfree, Bluetooth audio streaming, front USB, front Aux port, single CD and regular AM/FM tuner.

The Pioneer offers multicolor illumination.  This is a really nice option if you are looking to match your interior dash lights or customize the look of the stereo to suit your taste.  The Pioneer will also support a large contact list.  I recently had a customer with over 1000 contacts in their phone.  We tried pairing his phone to several different models.  The Pioneer didn’t flinch.  The Alpine on the other hand, behaved a bit quirky.  After contacting Alpine technical support, I was advised this can happen with a rather large contact list.  I would say anything over 300 is considered large.

The Alpine does have some appeal over Pioneer for certain customers.  It has a slightly brighter dot matrix display which may make it easier to see in bright sun and glare.  However, it lacks the multicolor illumination feature.  The button color will always remain blue.  Both models are quite reliable and quite popular choices; both are Car Stereo Chick approved.

Best Bluetooth car stereo for system expansion

If you’re looking to build a system in your car, then you will want to step up to something like either the Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X798 or KDC-X998.  Both part of the eXcelon family of products, these Bluetooth car stereos feature Kenwood’s superior digital to analog convertor.  Both the KDC-X798 and KDC-X998 feature 3 RCA preouts rated at 4 volts.  They also both offer multicolor illumination, built in crossovers and dual USB ports (front and rear USB).

The KDC-X998 features advanced equalization control, however it may be a bit more difficult to use for some consumers than the KDC-X798.  For an in depth review on both, check out my post here.

Best Single Din Head Units for Bluetooth, USB/Aux

FeaturesPioneer DEX-X6700BT
DEH-X7600BT

Very easy to use. Will support a large contact list. This is a top seller in our shop as it comes with a lot of features for the money. This model features Bluetooth handsfree calling, Bluetooth audio streaming, front USB/Aux, multicolor illumination and voice dial capability.

Alpine CDE-143BT
CDE-143BT

Another very easy to use single din CD deck with Bluetooth for handsfree, Bluetooth audio streaming, front USB/Aux and voice dial feature. Although it lacks the multicolor feature, the actual dot matrix display is sharper and easier to read in sunlight/glare conditions.

Bluetooth Handsfree with Voice Dial FeatureYesYes
Bluetooth Audio StreamingYesYes
Front USBYesYes
Rear USBNoNo
Front AuxYesYes
Steering Wheel Control ReadyYesYes
Multicolor IlluminationYesNo
Satellite Radio ReadyNoNo
RCA PreoutsYes, but only 2, rated at 2 voltsYes, but only 2, rated at 2 volts
EQ3 Band3 Band
CrossoverHPF and LPF, both adjustable between 50 Hz - 200 HzHPF and LPF, both adjustable between 60 Hz-160 Hz
Ease of Use Rating10/1010/10
Sound Quality Rating7/107/10
Equalization Control and Tuning Capability6/106/10

Best Single Din Head Units for System Expansion

FeaturesKenwood KDC-X998
KDC-X998

Advanced equalization control featuring 13 band EQ, digital time alignment, individual channel gain adjustment, option to run tweeter, mid and sub rather than front, rear and sub with advanced crossover adjustments, 4 Volt preouts, 24 bit DAC, multicolor illumination and more.

Kenwood KDC-X798
Kenwood KDC-X798

Ease of use and sound quality are at the heart of the KDC-X798. Although this model lacks advanced equalization control, it still has 3 preouts rated at 4 Volt, built in crossovers, bass/mid/treble adjustments, 24 Bit DAC, multicolor illumination and radio preset buttons.

Bluetooth Handsfree with Voice Dial FeatureYesYes
Bluetooth Handsfree Audio StreamingYesYes
Front USBYesYes
Rear USBYesYes
Front AuxYesYes
Steering Wheel Control ReadyYesYes
Multicolor IlluminationYesYes
Satellite Radio ReadyYesYes
RCA Preouts3 Preouts, 4 Volt3 Preouts, 4 Volt
EQ13 Band EQ with digital time alignment.3 Band EQ
CrossoverHighly adjustable, Front, Rear and Sub 30 Hz - 250 Hz OR Tweeter (1-12.5 kHz), Mid and Sub along with adjustable slope 6-24 dB/OctYes, but only adjustable 100 - 150 Hz
Ease of Use Rating6/1010/10
Sound Quality10/109/10
Equalization Control and Tuning Capability10/106/10

Shopping tips to find the Bluetooth car stereo

There are a lot of different Bluetooth car stereos out there, don’t become overwhelmed by the choices and selection.  Usually the biggest difference between models are subtle features.  The differences between the entry level Pioneer and the top of the line Kenwood are mainly the expandable features.  Both have USB, Bluetooth and multicolor illumination, but the Pioneer is geared more towards ease of use and adding the main features lacking in most basic stock stereos:

  • Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth Audio Streaming
  • USB
  • Aux

When you go up from there, you add in additional features that you may or may not need or use.  That’s why I recommend if you plan on building a nice little system, even if it’s just adding one amplifier and subwoofer, to step it up to a model that will support that expansion.  Bottom line?  Remember these two rules when shopping for a Bluetooth car stereo:

  • Don’t pay for features that you don’t need or will never use
  • Don’t skimp on the features that will benefit you in the future (like if you want to add an amp and sub eventually, plan ahead, buy a deck that will support that feature now)

I hope this post will make your search for a Bluetooth car stereo much easier.  Thanks for reading!

 

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