The Best Bluetooth Car Stereo

Pioneer AVIC8100NEX 7 Inch Capacitive Touchscreen Display Double DIN with Bluetooth

Our Top Pick for 2016: Pioneer AVIC8100NEX 7 Inch Capacitive Touchscreen Display Double DIN with Bluetooth
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $939.49*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

There are a lot of Bluetooth car stereos available. We have seen hundreds of new ones show up and decided that we wanted to find the best ones. We put on our research caps and got to work to weigh out the various advantages and disadvantages of our selected models. After hours of putting devices through the ringer, we came up with the top three choices and one budget buy. Here is our list of the best Bluetooth car stereos in the market today.

Table of contents

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Next-generation Stereo Receiver Head Unit
Full-color 7″ LCD Capacitive Touchscreen Display
Capacitive Touchscreen
Tablet-style Functionality
Multi-touch Gestures Like Pinch To Zoom And Simple Swipe
Bluetooth Handsfree
6″ Touchscreen Display
GPS Navigation
Built-in DVD Receiver
Full HD 1080p Support
Smartphone Integration
Built-in FM/AM Radio Tuner W/ RDS
GPS Navigation – CD/DVD Player
Built-in HD Radio
USB Interface

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Pioneer AVIC8100NEX 7 Inch Capacitive Touchscreen Display Double DIN with Bluetooth

Pioneer AVIC8100NEX 7 Inch Capacitive Touchscreen Display Double DIN with Bluetooth Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $939.49*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerOur number one gold product is the Pioneer AVIC8100NEX 7” Capacitive Touchscreen display Double DIN with Bluetooth. The title is a mouthful, but for good reason. This Bluetooth car stereo has a lot of special features that users are going to love.

The Pioneer has a full-color 7-inch LCD screen that is vibrant. It is definitely one of the things that we liked most about this model. Whether you’re using it at night or during the day, you can easily see all the controls and manage them efficiently. It also helps that each icon on the screen is distinctly different. Navigation is straightforward and easy to use. This is a huge advantage when you are trying to drive and make your selection on the Pioneer. It also means that viewing the time and date is that much easier. Again- day or night, you shouldn’t have an issue with reading the screen.

What we mainly liked about the Pioneer is its capacitive technology. Capacitive sensing is what lets machines detect any touch that is different from air. It’s what lets you use different touches to get different reactions from your device. Your Pioneer will know the difference between the pinch used to zoom into something and the swipe to move to a different screen. This reactiveness is a huge convenience and we loved how it was used in the Pioneer’s technology. In particular, the zoom feature is going to allow you to hone in on whatever you’re viewing easily and quickly. Capacitive technology is a definite plus when driving because of how easy and quick it responds to your chosen apps.

The Pioneer also has GPS navigation with mapping. This is what driving is all about—getting you to where you want to go via the most convenient and efficient route. You can easily use the GPS on this device and its auto-updates are going to make it that much easier to keep roads relevant. Plus, it has AVICSYNC, which is a technology that provides subscription-based services from the device by using the touchscreen display. This is what allows you access to live updates for traffic, the local weather, gas prices in your area and parking availability along with parking prices. Again- a huge convenience for any driver to have when navigating through the world. The navigation voice also has been improved with the Pioneer. The voice is more natural and can guide you to your destination in a much more pleasing way.

When it comes to music, the Pioneer also integrates with your smartphone’s catalog. You can have direct access of your iPod, iPhone or Android devices. If you have playlists configured on any of your devices, you can easily play them on your Pioneer with a few buttons. If you have voice-recognition on your phone, you can command it to play what you want for true hands-free music playback. The Pioneer also has built-in HD radio, including Pandora, SiriusXM, Mixtrax, Maestro and AppRadioLive. Each one of these music and talk-radio options can make your day go by much quicker in your vehicle. Plus, you can easily scroll through each one using your handy touch-screen stereo or vocal recognition tools.

In addition to the navigation and music, the Pioneer also has a wide range of apps to help you navigate efficiently. Android Auto allows you to organize your information into cards that appear when you need them. SIRI can be activated with the Pioneer via the NEX touchscreen and its external microphone. You can use SIRI just like you would on your phone, but through the car’s speaker system. Mirror Link is another tool integrated into the Bluetooth car stereo. This allows you to create a custom interface to access your music, phone and maps.

Overall the Pioneer is a great tool to have when driving. It not only helps you get to your desired location easily, but it gives you a lot of fun apps to work with on your way!

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Pyle PLDNAND621 GPS Android WIFI Bluetooth Double Din Car Stereo

Pyle PLDNAND621 GPS Android WIFI Bluetooth Double Din Car Stereo

View it on Amazon for $276.77*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerOur second place silver winner is the Pyle PLDNAND621 GPS Android Wi-Fi Bluetooth Double Din car stereo. This is another outstanding product that offers a huge amount of on-the-go functionality and convenience.

First of all, this Pyle car stereo has a large 6-inch screen. We loved the Pioneer’s 7-inch screen, but the Pyle’s still is large enough to be effective and easy to use. This one is configured like a tablet. If you are used to using one, then this is going to be an easy device to get used to. You can easily set the background and just like our number one pick, this one is easy to view as you are driving. The screen is vibrant and icons are easily distinguishable.

This is another device that has the multi-touch capacitive display. We can’t say enough about this technology and it is a perfect fit for drivers in traffic. It allows you to make selections that are quick and get you the information you need. The screen is large enough to allow you to make selections without focusing too long on the device—so you can keep your eyes safely on the road.

The Pyle has a 3G Wi-Fi mobile capability. This allows for internet browsing and can be a huge advantage if you work on the road. We can see salespeople loving this device for its immediate internet connection and browsing capability. Not only can work get done, but it can get done quickly and efficiently. It is built with HD 1080p multi-media support and full web surfing. You will never be without valuable browsing technology with the Pyle.

This device also has a great navigation. Again- this is a number one priority for users and we put the device through the paces with our intense research. We wanted the device to accurately create a wide range of routes and take into account current traffic and gas prices. Our goal here was to create the biggest return on the dollar with convenience and efficiency. The Pyle has a great return because of all it has to offer. Its navigation definitely is one of its primary advantages. The maps are clear and large. You can easily zoom in as you get closer to your destination. Movement and updating of maps as you drive are fluid and never “jump” to update.

Music is easy to play also with this Pyle model. We tested individual music loaded to an iPod or Android. We also tested playlists and jumped from playlist to playlist to make sure that it was able to seamlessly switch over regardless of how many times we changed our selections. The Pyle stood up quite nicely. We also liked the custom audio control built-in. This is an equalizer that allows you to change details about playback with each song. It creates the ability to customize each genre to the sound you prefer. As long as you have a good speaker system, you are going to love this feature and playing around with the different sounds you want.

On top of the features it has, this Pyle model also offers convenient ease-of-setup. It has a backup camera input plus three USB ports included. It has a Wi-Fi antenna output and a subwoofer output. There likely isn’t going to be any issue with connectivity or compatibility with the amount of features the setup includes. This is a wise addition in planning by Pyle because it opens up their market to that many more users. Once they see how handy the tool is, likely more consumers are going to jump for this Bluetooth car stereo.

The Pyle silver-pick also has frontloading CD and DVD playback. This is a great benefit for the passenger who can easily play a movie, listen to music on CD or just scroll through pictures you have stored on your phone. Not only does the Pyle make your ride more convenient, but it can keep your passengers happy too! If you are looking for a great product that has the latest technology, test out the Pyle. Likely you’ll love it!

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): ATOTO Quadcore Android 2Din Car Stereo Head Unit with Bluetooth

ATOTO Quadcore Android 2Din Car Stereo Head Unit with Bluetooth

View it on Amazon for $220.30*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe bronze third place winner after our research is the ATOTO Quadcore Android 2 Din Car Stereo Head Unit with Bluetooth. As a third-place pick the ATOTO Quadcore stood up well. We test our products rigorously and this one earned itself the third place spot on our list.

The ATOTO comes with a bright 6.2-inch touchscreen display. The layout is a little busier than the layouts of our first and second place winners. That is one of the reasons it made it to number three. Despite that though, with some getting used to, it is a great device that is going to make your driving much more convenient and fun. The device was built with Android 4.4 in mind. That of course is the latest in Android technology and it means that it is able to maximize the features it offers.

The screen is bright—not as bright as our other picks—but bright nonetheless. You can still easily navigate and customize it to your preferences. The date and time are clearly posted at the top of the screen, along with the current temperature. Underneath, you can load your favorite apps for convenience. There is a knob, which is unique to this device as compared to all of our top picks. This helps with navigation. Again- it may take some getting used to, but once you do, you can use it with little to no additional effort at all. It becomes unique to the system but still functionally well-designed.

The ATOTO comes with a built-in AM/FM radio tuner and a built-in DVD receiver. It has a subwoofer out and an external microphone. Having all of these features means that it will allow you to have the best in music playback. As the other models, this one allows you to integrate your current music selection into the car stereo. You can easily load your music and playlists onto your screen and play the desired songs while you are navigating. The subwoofer allows for great sound quality no matter what you are playing. You can also adjust the sound and customize it to the genre of music you like. It’s customizations like this that pushed this ATOTO model up to its number three placing.

It also has capacitive technology, which gives you the ability to easily select what you want from its list of choices. You can use zoom and pinch, along with its touchscreen technology. It has 1-USB so you can connect to a 128G USB memory drive. This is an added feature we liked because if you are working and need files, or if you have extra music stored on an external device, you can easily plug it into your ATOTO car stereo. Small conveniences like this can make the difference between a good product and an outstanding product. The ATOTO definitely is outstanding because of it.

We also liked the way ATOTO integrated services. For example, if you are using your navigation and receive a call, the call shows up at the top of the screen, while the map stays stationary. This means that you won’t have to jump back to the map screen; or if you’re nearing your destination, you won’t have to rethink your route. It’s little things like this that made the biggest impact on us when we were researching this model. The manufacturers built it for convenience and ease-of-use. We appreciated the little things that help to keep the driver on the road safely.

If you are looking for a new Bluetooth car stereo, consider this great ATOTO model. Yes- it takes a little getting used to due to its unique design, but it still has a lot to offer. It is convenient and the amount of apps it can manage easily integrate well. It definitely is a exceptional and powerful machine and that’s why it earned its spot at number three on our list of the best.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Mixtrax and Bluetooth

Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-DIN CD Receiver with Mixtrax and Bluetooth

View it on Amazon for $114.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickAfter picking our top three, we always give a special nod to one additional product. It usually doesn’t have the same amount of benefits the top three do, but it has enough quality that we believe it deserves a mention. Our budget pick for the best Bluetooth car stereos is the Pioneer FH-X720BT 2-DIN CD receiver with Mixtrax and Bluetooth. This Pioneer is definitely a standout and if you are looking for a new car stereo, it is definitely worth looking at.

This Pioneer model has a large easy-to-read screen. This apparently is a huge advantage because older models were considerably smaller. Manufacturers made quite a few improvements with this model though and that’s why it made it to our budget pick. The display is smaller than our others though- and it uses the older-style electronic font. Still- if you can get used to that, you should enjoy it.

With the Pioneer, the sound is what caught us. Manufacturers put a lot of obvious time and money into building a supreme sound capability with this small device. It has MIXTRAX technology. We loved this capability. It is a technology that lets you create a mix of all your music for long road trips. Remember that Pioneer has long been known for its outstanding music delivery. This device plays on that and brings some of the best sounding long-lasting playlists to your vehicle. You can use music off of your USB device, Android, iPhone or IPod to create your music. It has effects and transitions to play with as you listen. Again- Pioneer lets you become an in-vehicle DJ with this tool. It’s a lot of fun and can make any drive that much more exciting.

Add to the music quality the fact that looking at your Pioneer stereo is going to be exciting. You can easily customize it to your liking. It can be pink, purple, red or any of the over 210,000 color combinations it comes with. That’s a nice feature that harkens back to the day of a DJ with the lights and flash of a nightclub. This definitely is a cute feature that will update the interior of any car. You can also adjust the brightness of the screen with 10 different levels to ensure that you can see it clearly while driving day or night.

On top of the music and look though, the Pioneer also delivers some great extra tools. It has voice recognition, so you can easily use it hands-free and safely. It enables hands-free calling along with audio streaming. Pioneer uses a technology that promises better call reception and overall quality. It also lets you connect two phones when you are in the vehicle so you can use either one to make and/or receive calls. It also give s you access to both phone’s music. You can browse through playlists wirelessly.

The Pioneer has a 5-band graphic music equalizer, advanced sound, a remote control and front USB ports and an additional AUX input. Overall this is a great machine. It is all about music though. If you are a music lover, this definitely is a device to look at. You’ll feel like the DJ of your vehicle in no time with the amount of music-loving features this stereo offers.


Pre-purchase considerations

Look

When you get something new for your car you want it to look good. For decades the stereo you have in your car has been a talking point. Imagine high school when you had an old beater, but the stereo was prime. We wanted to pick Bluetooth car stereos that were designed to showcase that same feeling of luxury. They are sleek looking, integrate well with the dashboard and have lots of catchy options on them.

Each one of our top winners look good in the cars we put them in. They were designed well and had the high-end technology that we wanted. Not only were they music devices, but they were functional in that they had navigation, caller ID, hand-free call answering and sound options. We wanted them to look good, but also to work outstandingly well.

Easy to read display

The next thing we demanded was easy-to-read displays. Our readers are diverse. They come from all areas of the world and have to drive through different types of weather. Just think of Chicago. Its’ 90-degrees one day and swelteringly hot and 52-degrees the next day and foggy. We wanted Bluetooth devices that were easy to read regardless of the weather. Not only was this a convenience for our readers, but it also was a safety issue. We needed the displays to be easy to use and easy to see at all times, without having to focus on the device. It was imperative for information to be quickly readable to keep driver’s eyes on the road as much as possible.

We also took the bright sun and darkness of a rainy night into account. We demanded that our chosen devices were adjustable in brightness to accommodate changes in the weather. Again- this wasn’t so much of a convenience as a safety issue. We look for things that bring the most value, and safety is always a primary concern.

Navigation

A Bluetooth car stereo can have a lot of bells and whistles on it, but without the ability to get a driver to the right place, what good is it? We focused on navigation and ease of understanding directions with our researched devices. We wanted to know what regardless of where a driver was going, these stereos would offer 1) clear audible directions and 2) clear visual directions. We tested a wide variety of different destinations—day and night. We went on off-the-road locations and tried our best to dizzy the machine’s navigation. Luckily, we were unable to completely perplex any of our standouts. They easily found the roads we needed and got us back on track quickly. That’s exactly what we were looking for!

We also wanted the audible directions to be pleasing and adjustable. Remember the first talking navigators? They were difficult to understand. Streets were pronounced incorrectly and opened the door for errors. Today’s models happily have come a long way in terms of sound. We noted that on our chosen devices and gave them extra points for being not only easily understood, but pleasing to listen to.

Additional apps

We also wanted the Bluetooth car stereos that maximized the amount of apps. There are thousands, millions maybe, of apps in the market today. Some are just fun, but a lot of them are valuable and offer organization tools that people can’t live without. We wanted stereos that had the ability to carry the most valuable apps to the car dashboard. No longer do you have to turn to your iPhone or Android to get full functionality of an app that truly makes a difference in your life. Now, they are available on your stereo just as easily as on your handheld.

We looked at the number of apps built-into each stereo. We made sure that they covered a wide variety of things: navigation, weather, gas pricing, music, playlists and satellite radio. We wanted to be sure that attention was put into bringing the best and latest information to the stereo. The goal was to make sure that drivers were truly benefiting in all aspects whenever they were using the device. We are confident that each one of our devices offers a great value due to the additional app list it can offer users.

Sound quality

Finally, we also looked at the sound quality capable. It is a stereo after all! We wanted to be sure that each one of our chosen devices had the ability to play great music and produce fantastic sound quality. Our machines all have built-in equalizers to make sure that users can tune the sound to their preferences. Again- as long as you have a good stereo speaker system, these devices are going to manage to bring you some fantastic sounds. Whether you like riding down the highway listening to Maroon 5 and Florence and the Machine or Metallica and Fear Factory, you are going to love the way it sounds on any one of our devices.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

So there you have it. Our list of the top Bluetooth car stereos in the market. We did a lot of research and testing. We put each one through a lot of wear-and-tear to make sure our list was accurate and comprehensive. We are confident that any one of our selections is going to offer you the best in on-the-road security, navigation, music and just plain fun.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. AVICSYNC. Pioneer Electronics.
  2. Doninic Devito. Our Take on the Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX. Crutchfield.com.
  3. Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX. SonicElectronix.com.
  4. Laura Dexter. Pyle PLDNAND621 GPS Android Car Stereo WIFI Double Din. YouTube. March 25, 2016.
  5. Pioneer FH-X720BT CD Receiver with Bluetooth. NewEgg.

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