First of all, a big thanks to Google & Apple who innovated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and made it a lot easier to use your smartphone by connecting to the head unit of your car.

Now you can stay connected without any distraction while on the go. Your voice command will run applications on your phone, so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel and have wonderful driving experience. If you’re looking for the best car stereo, make sure you find the one that has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

We’ve rounded up 10 most popular Apple CarPlay stereos that have acquired a huge response, a good rating, and reviews from customers. And even our team of car audio specialists got surprised with their elusive abilities during the trial and inspection.

Let’s dig them out a little deeper!


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Delivery Contents

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Best Rated Apple Carplay Stereo

1. Pioneer MVH-1400NEX – A New Upgraded Version of CarPlay

This Apple CarPlay radio is much more than a device that only connects to your favorite FM stations. It does so much from giving you quick access to your music, navigation, messages, and streaming music wirelessly from your favorite apps.

You can also get access to your phone book with a touch of your finger and keep yourself connected with the outside world with voice commands. It keeps your hands and eyes free so you can concentrate on safer driving.

These are some of the features that make it stand out:


It simplifies your drive by giving you access to elements you may need during your commute into one place. You only need to download the free AppRadioLIVE app on your phone and sync your services. It will give quick access to your music, maps, media, calendar and other sources and services which you already have an account with.

This feature will allow you to pull the required information into the AppRadioLIVE interface whether you want to find nearby events or look at the weather forecast. AppRadioLIVE delivers up-to-date information quickly from many popular apps without the need to open them individually.

Built-in Bluetooth

Undoubtedly, this top rated Apple CarPlay stereo has built-in Bluetooth and when you pair your Bluetooth enabled phone to the Pioneer MVH-1400NEX you can stream music wirelessly, make hands-free calls, and even browse the collection through the screen of the head unit. It also supports the call quality by using the Wideband Speech Handsfree Profile.

With Siri, you can get access to eyes-free functionalities and make calls, send text messages, and play the music without taking your eyes off from the road.


This head unit is equipped with an aux input and rear USB input. So either with a USB connection or a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, you can play and control music from various apps like Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music Radio using the touchscreen control.

You can also add SiriusXM tuner to get access to unlimited free music, news, weather, entertainment, and sports.


This is an innovative technology that shows lighting effects on your touchscreen as you’re playing a series of songs. It lets you have an ultimate DJ like listening experience where lights start pulsating to the beat of the music.

Sound Quality

Pioneer’s powerful amplifier is supported by built-in Auto EQ, time alignment, 13-Band Equalizer with touch panel settings that allows you to tune the music according to your listening preferences. And if you like high-res audio then you will be happy to know that it can play FLAC files right inside your vehicle up to 192kHz/24 bit.

iDatalink Maestro

Once you have installed Pioneer MVH-1400NEX into a compatible vehicle using the iDatalink Maestro, you will be able to enjoy the features of this radio system as well as you can keep factory features that usually gets removed when a new radio system is installed. You can also keep track on your vehicle’s engine performance data including other important vehicle information right on Pioneer’s screen.

Steering wheel controls

To get the convenience of steering wheel control you will require a compatible adapter and once the adapter is programmed with your car and stereo system, you would be able to control audio right from your steering wheel. This is certainly the heights of today’s technology.

When you will add this stereo to your cart, you will find options for compatible adapters but as this is an additional feature so this will cost you an additional amount too.


  • Clean-looking hardware
  • Affordable
  • Large touchscreen
  • Highly customizable sound
  • Dual phone connection
  • Wide variety of file support


  • Incompatible with single din sizes

2. Sony XAVAX1000 – Gives Intuitive Control Over Music & Smartphone functions

Sony is another brand that upholds integrity and commitment for each of its products. And this time with Sony XAVAX1000 that is the most upgraded version of Apple CarPlay Stereo, once again it has kept its promise of delivering excellence.

The user-friendly interface and compact design make it the right fit for all sizes of vehicles which takes relatively less time and effort for installation. However, it provides only 5-channels that are less than any of a standard unit have, but in front of a serious of other amazing features this insignificant drawback will seem very minute.

Here are those features that keep your fun unstoppable with this unit:

Siri Eyes FreeIntegrated Volume KnobTouchscreen ControlPersonal NavigatorGet the Sound You WantRear View Camera
By using the built-in Bluetooth connectivity, you can create a connection between your compatible iPhone and the vehicle’s music system. And once the connection is set up, you can use your voice to control Siri Eyes Free which allows you to access the call, messaging, music, maps, and everything at the voice commands. At each voice command, Siri will respond back through the car’s speakers.
If you like manual controls then get access to its integrated knob that is just on the side of the stereo. And now control the sound with a push of a button.
Turning on & off with a touch of a finger is the greatest convenience we enjoy here, especially on this large 6.2” screen. This intuitive control over music and smartphone functions makes driving great fun.
Use it as your personal guide and allows it to navigate to your destination in real-time with accurate symbols and directions. There is no chance you get stuck anywhere in the mid.
Multiple sound customization options, preset tone curves, built-in 4x55W amplification, a 10 band equalizer lets you add depth to the music so you can have an audio experience that soothes your soul.
This stereo system comes with rear camera input means if you install a rearview camera; you can view the feed of the back right on the screen. It helps you take your vehicle back in a safe manner. And customizable guidelines are another plus which adds to your confidence.


  • Compact design
  • User-friendly interface
  • Can be used with mobile
  • Faster installation
  • Rotary volume for easy operation


  • Only 5 output channels

3. KENWOOD Excelon DNX995S – AV Navigation System with Bluetooth

It’s a perfect replacement for your old traditional kind of stereo system, packed with a lot of impressive features. The first thing that immediately grabs our attention is its 6.5” high definition display with a capacitive touch panel which delivers clear images with high color contrast and sharpness.

It also boasts of its smartphone connectivity, advanced navigation, and the next level of audio experience. Let’s have a glance at each of its features one by one.

High Definition Display

The 6.75” capacitive touchscreen with 1280×720 pixels high definition display shows you crystal clear images at a high viewing angle. Even under the dim light of your car, the electrostatic panel displays images with excellent sharpness and brightness. The vivid display lets you capture the information in a quick glance with a simple swipe.

High Resolution Audio

Not only the picture quality, the sound quality is also above the standard level. Each audio part is carefully selected and optimized to give the complete high resolution audio experience. The technologies that work behind its optimal sound performance are 13 Band Graphic Equalizer and time alignment. These features are used to tailor the sound quality to your taste.

Wireless Android Auto

Using all of the features of your smartphone without connecting to the DNX995S via USB is all what wireless Android Auto does for you. Its intuitive voice control interface gives you easy access to your phone, messages, music, Google maps, weather, and many of your favorite apps without the fuss of any cable. This convenience makes a safer drive by allowing you stay focused on the road.

Apple CarPlay

Don’t worry; if you want your iPhone content to be at your voice command, Apple CarPlay is there. You can connect your iPhone to the Apple CarPlay USB and start talking to Siri to get access to your music library, phone calls, messages, navigation, and various music apps too like Pandora and Spotify.


With Weblink, you can get in-dash control over different apps like YouTube, Yelp, and more. You only need to download the Kenwood Weblink app and connect your smartphone with USB and get quick access to these apps. The exciting thing is that it works with both Android and iPhone smartphone.

Dual Phone Connection

Operating two phones hands free at once is another great feature that allows your passenger to connect the phone to the stereo and have the same benefits. You can easily switch between both phones and get access to their respective phonebook.

Garmin Navigation System

As the name says it all, yes it is equipped with a specialized navigation system that guides you through the accurate routing for a specific street name or place. The “3D Building Map”, Junction View with Lane Assistance”, and “Intelligent Parking Assistance” makes your driving safer and easier too. With Kenwood’s split-screen control feature, you can follow the map while looking at your phonebook or playlist.

Dual Camera Input Including a Dash Cam

The DNX995S comes with two different cameras for front view and rear view so you can have a wider view of the outside when taking your vehicle in and out of a congested place. The dash cam allows for full HD video recording. It means it can capture and save whatever is happening in front of you while driving.

iDatalink Maestro RR

With iDatalink Maestro RR, you can have an interface that expands the use of your Kenwood receiver. You can get access to Satellite Radio, USB Media Player, Bluetooth hands-free and music streaming. You can also see your vehicle’s information as well as track the performance.


  • Full & balanced sound
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent power output
  • Clean and clear display
  • Reliable stereo upgrade


  • The interface isn’t as easy to navigate as those on most car stereos
  • It lacks the AptX Bluetooth profile, which improves streaming quality

4. Alpine iLX-F309 HALO9 – The First Stereo with 9” Touchscreen Display

It is much like the Top Rated Apple Carplay Stereos we mentioned above but i1f you want a bigger screen but not sure which stereo model would fit better in your car, then consider the Alpine iLX-F309, it’s floating halo style design looks great in all vehicles. Apart from the design, the large 9” touchscreen display with a universal fit takes the least effort and requires minimum customization for installation that simply makes your job a lot easier.

You would also appreciate its extended screen adjustability that allows covering the curves of the dash in the vehicle very neatly.

Let’s look at its some of the more specialized features that can take your driving experience extra miles.

Android Auto & Apple CarPlay

The availability of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay was the great thing we found on this unit. But the only flaw was that they were accessible through wired connection only means you would need to use a USB port to access them. This little extra effort was a bit disappointing. But still, having the ability to access Android Auto and Apple CarPlay was a huge advantage. And moreover, both the features work smoothly whether you are using voice commands, apps or phone’s call & text functions.

Safety Cameras & Accessory Control

Along with the basic functions including audio & video streaming, access to call, message, music, maps, and retaining vehicle information, it does allow to add safety cameras and accessory control to the unit. If you’ve a truck with some additional accessories attached to it, you can easily control these accessories with the touch of your finger on the screen. You only need to connect Alpine iLX-F309 to these accessories and you can control each connected accessory by selecting it on the screen.

You can also add up to two cameras to the system with their camera expander the KCX-C2600B. You can also add an HDMI switcher to expand the single HDMI input to add extra input.

iDatalink Maestro & SiriusXM

You can expand the use of this unit by adding iDatalink Maestro module that retains and displays vehicle’s information, features, and performance. And if you want to remain connected to your favorite radio stations from coast to coast then go for SiriusXM subscription.


  • Super quick and simple to use
  • Captivating floating display design
  • More storage space
  • Great screen adjustability


  • No wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Low Resolution

5. Alpine ILX-007 – An Extremely Lightweight Stereo

Well, before we go in-depth of Alpine ILX-007’s features, performance, and technical integration, you must know that without a compatible iPhone, it would merely be an AM/FM radio. But if you connect an iPhone, it opens up an interface loaded with various functionalities that greatly enhance your in-car experience. You will have an excellent music player, hands free calls, text tool, maps, access to several music apps and more.

Especially the sleek design you can’t overlook. Due to the absence of CD/DVD drive, the unit is extremely short in its depth (only 76mm deep) which also makes it fairly lightweight.

Let’s have a look at its detailed synopsis:

Apple CarPlay & Siri – A Voice Assistant

Alpine ILX-007 is designed to support Apple CarPlay means it will work only with iPhone. The real fun of using Apple CarPlay is that it puts all of the important iPhone functions on the stereo’s screen that can be easily accessed by tapping on the screen. It means you can select tunes, place a call, and compose texts right from the stereo’s screen.

But what actually makes your drive wonderful is the inclusion of Siri – A voice assistant. You only need an external microphone that is included with the receiver. And just tap on the Siri button placed at the bottom of the screen and start communicating with Siri. It will follow your voice commands and do whatever you ask it whether you want to navigate map, place a call, write a text message or play your favorite song. Even it will read out your incoming messages for you.

Note: If your car’s steering wheel has a voice-activation button on it, an audio expert can convert this button into a Siri button, so you don’t have to press the Siri button placed below the screen.

Anti-Glare Capacitive Touchscreen Display

When it comes to aesthetics, its 7” (800×480) capacitive touchscreen display gives it a modernized look that improves the interior of your car. The anti-glare coating on the screen makes it more efficient for long hours of use. And if you hate over-brightness then don’t worry, it comes with an auto-dimming function that automatically adjust the brightness to give you a comfortable view of the screen.

Effortless Installation

The sleek and compact design of Alpine ILX-007 makes it the best fit for most of the dashboards, requires less time and efforts for installation. It takes a maximum of one and a half hours if it is installed by an audio expert.

The only skelf you have to face is that you have to involve the parking brake to make any of the settings under the settings menu.


  • Equipped with rear camera modes
  • Extensive sound tuning facilities
  • Steering wheel controls compatible


  • Does not support Android Auto
  • No wireless and Bluetooth connection

6. Pioneer AppRadio 4 SPH-DA120 – The Finest Impersonation of Apples

The first thing about AppRadio 4 SPH-DA120 that strikes your eyes is its typical Apple like simplicity. Not only its design but functionalities too work like your Apple phone. As soon as you connect your iPhone to this stereo system, you’re greeted by its easy-to-use interface that allows you to control your smartphone’s functions right in your dashboard.

However, it doesn’t have the CD/DVD player but with its Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay audio options, you can stream any music from a variety of sources. The clear text, big icons, and extremely clear voice instructions make it easy to use and look great on its 6.2” touchscreen display.

There is still much to explore.


With this innovative AppRadio, you can get easy access to your phone’s photos, Maps, Calender, and other compatible apps. You only need to download AppRadio application on your phone and then connect to AppRadio receiver and start using its impressive capabilities including its improved graphical user interface and compatibility with Apple CarPlay.

AppRadio Mode is compatible with a number of devices including iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and iPhone 4, Android smartphones, and MirrorLink™ enabled smartphones.

Note: AppRadio Mode is currently not compatible with iOS 8 due to stability and display issues.


It simplifies your drive by giving you access to elements you may need during your commute into one place. You only need to download the free AppRadioLIVE app on your phone and sync your services. It will give quick access to your music, maps, media, calendar and other sources and services which you already have an account with.

This feature will allow you to pull the required information into AppRadioLIVE interface whether you want to find nearby events or look at the weather forecast. AppRadioLIVE delivers up-to-date information quickly from many popular apps without the need to open them individually.

Siri Eyes Free

The SPH-DA120 integrates Siri Eyes Free so as to enable you to use your phone via your voice commands. With Siri you can do all that you do usually with your phone such as placing a call, sending a text message, navigating the map or playing your favorite music.

Once you touch the Siri button, you’ll hear Siri’s voice prompts through your car’s speakers, and you can make commands using the microphone included with this receiver.

Built-in Bluetooth

Enjoy hands free calling and audio streaming with Bluetooth connectivity. This receiver provides the latest Bluetooth technology including Wideband Speech Handsfree Profile 1.6 that improves the call quality by increasing the bandwidth of the frequency. It means you only need to pair your phone and you can start talking handsfree and can even stream audio from your smartphone.

Note: The effectiveness of this stereo’s Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone’s Bluetooth capabilities.

High Resolution Audio

This receiver is equipped with 5-band equalizer including 7 preset EQ curves that help you customize the sound as you want. It does have a built-in powerful amplifier that supplies 50 watts of power each channel continuously. This much power is enough to produce a clear and crisp sound.

Additional Features

It enables you to use a lot of media options by including an HDMI port, backup camera port, power amp ports, rear seat audio, Sirius XM port, iDatalink port, external microphone port, and a car antenna input port. Thus it hugely expands the use of this receiver.


  • Works with the easy touch of a finger
  • Affordable
  • External GPS antenna for boosting signal


  • It doesn’t have the CD/DVD player
  • It supports only a few models of Android phones

7. JVC KW-M730BT – The Best Double Din Unit

The illuminated screen of JVC KW-M730BT is nowhere less than a centerpiece of your car’s interior. Let’s talk less about its superficial look and come to what all it has to offer you. Keeping everything at the touch of your finger is the greatest convenience it’s going to give you. Right from Bluetooth calling, music streaming, navigation, Google Apps, Google Maps to Pandora, SiriusXM, it has everything you may demand while on the go.

And it works with both Android and iOS devices so no worries which phone model you have. But keep in mind that it requires a standard double DIN dash system that is not usual in new vehicles.

Here are the features for that it gets point:

Connect Two Phones Simultaneously

You can sync two phones at same time via Bluetooth connectivity. However, you wouldn’t be able to use both phones simultaneously but can easily and quickly switch between both by pushing on a key on the stereo.

Sound Quality & Customization

With this stereo, you will get a number of sound shaping controls including 13-Band Equalizer to adjust sound manually, Volume Link EQ to boost specific frequencies, and Sound Lift. These arrays of sound controls help to remove distortion and produce effective sound.

Apple CarPlay

If you’re an iPhone user, this stereo system is the right fit for you. Apple CarPlay allows you to use your iPhone while on the go. You can simply pair your device via Bluetooth and either touch the screen or talk to Siri to make calls, send texts, play music, and get directions from the map, do all that without distracting your eyes from the road.

Android Auto

Android Auto is for Android phone users, it brings all of your phone features right on your receiver’s screen so as you can access all of the features either via touch or voice commands. You only need to plug in your device to the receiver via USB and get access to phone calls, messages, music files, Maps, and lots of other compatible apps in a way so you can concentrate on your driving.

Additional Features

It is SiriusXM ready means you can add a SiriusXM tuner to enjoy unlimited music broadcasted by radio stations. And if you love internet radio, get Pandora and Spotify apps and enjoy some of the best music right in your car.


  • Convenience of steering wheel controls
  • Better visibility on 6.8” touchscreen
  • Dual phone connection
  • Engine performance data on screen
  • Quality digital sound


  • Does not play video formats
  • Features only a single USB and auxiliary input

8. Kenwood DMX7704S – The Most Powerful & Versatile Head Unit

Kenwood DMX7704S is a great way to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to your car that you already have, however it is a bit more expensive but the versatility and a wide range of features it offers, justifies its price.

It outshines many popular head units with its high definition visual display, wireless remote control, and intuitive voice controlled interface that are designed to give you a safer and smarter drive. It also incorporates 2 RCA inputs for onboard cameras and iDataLink Maestro to update you on your vehicle’s performance.

Nonetheless, the manual controls can be disappointing as they are a bit more complex than other models but you have other alternatives too. The time consuming installation is another freak that comes with this unit. But this is certainly a solid product that will last for many years.

Let’s have a look at its detailed synopsis:

Multimedia Features

Apart from its ability to integrate iPhone and Android, it does provide you full control over your audios and videos in both way by touching the screen and using your voice commands. It does come with dashcam so as you can record any drive you want and can also control the camera’s view right from its 6.95” big resistive touchscreen.

Dual Phone Connection

It allows connecting two phones simultaneously. You can easily swap between both phones with a button touch. So making calls, sending or receiving text, and finding contacts can be easily done from its intuitive interface with a touch of a finger so you can have a safer drive.

Built-in Bluetooth & Connectivity

This unit is integrated with Bluetooth that allows you to use the whole unite wirelessly. You can connect multiple Bluetooth enabled devices at the same time and easily switch between them. It also gives you access to Siri, with that you can use the unit through your voice commands.

It is also integrated with HD Radio so you can enjoy the rich selection of programs broadcasted from local radio stations. This unit is also SiriusXM ready, so you can access an array of satellite radio programs.


  • High definition display
  • Dual phone connection
  • Multiple inputs channels
  • 6.95” display


  • Complicated manual controls
  • Expensive
  • Time-consuming installation

How to Choose the Best Carplay Stereo

To simplify your quest for finding the best car head unit, we have put forward some of the most important considerations you need to look into while going through loads of options. Because it is good to know what all features and functionalities top rated stereo systems are offering but it is more important to know what your specific needs are.

Here are those important considerations which you must take into account before shelling out your hard-earned money:

OS Integration – Ensure Which Devices You Can Use

First of all, you should check whether the selected stereo system is compatible with the operating system running on your phone. However, nowadays, all of the latest stereo systems come with compatibility with multiple platforms including Android & iOS both.

This way, it may be less significant to consider this factor. But in extreme case it can break the entire use of the unit if it only supports the iOS platform and you have an Android-based mobile phone, just like Alpine ILX-007. It only supports the iOS platform and not the Android one. So keep this factor in mind when going for a real purchase.


This is another way to confirm your phone is compatible with the chosen head unit, however, the majority of head units come with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but yet there are a few models which either only come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. So if you have an iPhone then it is imperative to know that the chosen receiver has Apple CarPlay.

Some of the head units also come with MirrorShare which is an obsolete technology. It works just like a projector which only displays the phone content on the bigger screen of the head unit. So make sure you don’t choose the one that uses this technology.

We would recommend only for a receiver that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so that you can easily switch to another phone.

The DIN Factor or Space in the Dashboard

Which head unit will suit your vehicle also depends on the availability of space in the dashboard. In terms of head unit sizes, there are two types of head units – Single DIN & Double DIN. The only difference between both is that the Double DIN is 4” in height while Single-DIN is 2” in height. If you have a small size car then go for Single DIN and for the larger vehicle, Double DIN will accommodate space perfectly.

Screen Size and Display Quality

The size of the screen massively depends on the space available in your dashboard. However, this is not the primary factor but a bigger screen inevitably looks good and improves your overall experience with the unit. Even if you have a smaller vehicle, the screen size should fall between 6” and 6 ½. Anything higher than this would look nice but make sure it doesn’t disfigure the interior of the car.

Apart from the screen size, the quality of the display, font size, brightness, and color quality should also be considered. You should also check for usability whether it is a touchscreen or uses buttons and knobs.

Third-Party Compatibility

With an Apple device, it is much difficult to integrate with third parties applications. It means if you go for the head unit that has Apple CarPlay, you will get access to fewer apps but your access to those apps would be more secured and controlled.

However, on the other hand, Android doesn’t have much stringent requirement for the inclusion of third party apps. It is less restrictive to get access to third parties applications. Therefore, it is also more prone to security risk. Thus getting a unit that provides access to fewer apps with increased security is worthy of investing money on it.


When it comes to the sound quality of a stereo system, the Amplifier is the first component that is highly responsible for its performance. The quality of the sound literally depends on the power output of the amplifier and even for a reasonable sound, the amplifier should have at least 4 channels and each channel should have 20 watts of RMS.

So make sure the unit you choose has an integrated amplifier with this much of power output else you will see a huge decline in sound performance.

Car Nativity

Using your phone functions right from your stereo’s touchscreen or through voice commands is safe as well as convenient too especially when you drive. Just like these two features, steering wheel controls is another way to control your phone features from the steering wheel buttons whether you want to take calls, adjust music tracks or tweak the volume.

However, there are very few cars that come with this feature but if you have a car that features steering wheel controls then make sure you purchase a head unit that supports this feature.

Ease of Use

Make sure the head unit functions are straightforward and easy to use. Ultimately you need this unit to have a safer drive with access to your phone functions.

If it’s tricky to find what you need and difficult to switch between various functions, it means it will make it difficult to access your device while you’re behind the wheels and so you would have to distract your eyes from the road. In simple form, you only need to check how user-friendly it is, however, it is not at all difficult to figure out if you have a little bit of knowledge about it.

The goal of this article is only to educate you on Apple CarPlay stereo systems. Being a buyer, you should be aware of what the latest is in the market and eventually, what you would get so as you can make the right decision based on the knowledge you have acquired. We hope we supplied sufficient information to help you zero in on a stereo that suits your specific needs.