(Decent quality and not Chinese-made)
Plenty of budget end-of-market double DIN Apple Car Play stereos exist. But if you want a decent-quality build, look further than the Chinese-made headunits.
Double DIN refers to the size of the car stereo. It is the size of two single DIN units stacked one above the other to give dimensions of 4″ x 7″ (it is 2 x 2″ x 7″ of the Single DIN). This is a widespread space to fit a car stereo and takes a 7″ touch screen. This Double DIN and 7″ touch screen ensure the display remains within the bounds of the space taken by the stereo. More extensive displays can obscure controls or vents, which isn’t ideal.
CarPlay for iPhones is a great tool to allow your phone screen to show a better layout on the car touchscreen. Only some car stereos can do this, and a touch screen is just one of the prerequisites for Apple car play to work.
There are two main aspects to the touch screen for a car stereo. Color and clarity are essential features often lacking in budget units. Then there is the touch. This needs to be quick to react and feel precise; again, you can feel the difference between the cheaper Chinese makes.
You need your car stereo to sound good, if not great. While a budget-friendly Chinese Apple carplay headunit (see our X30 review) may improve the factory sound, a better quality Double DIN stereo will perform much better. Better volume, more unmistakable voice, and deeper bass are all improved with better and more expensive hardware.
The Sony XAVAX5500 has a 7″ touch screen, Apple Car Play, and a high-quality double DIN stereo. It ticks the boxes for a high-quality display with a responsive touch screen, top-notch sound hardware, and excellent Apple Car Play.
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Connectivity: Apple CarPlay2 and Android Auto 3