What is RGB on the Android Headunits?


And do I need it?

RGB is often mentioned in the sales pitches for android headunits, but is usually only described with a picture. RGB looks pretty, but the practical uses or even need to have it isn’t explained. Some android headunits have RGB, some don’t have RGB, but is it worth spending more to get one with RGB?


RGB is an abbreviation of Red, Green and Blue. The 3 colour – tri-colour LEDs fitted into the buttons and touch pads of the android headunit. A microprocessor inside the android headunit can control the voltage independently to each of the R, G and B LEDs to create a button illumination of a colour that you choose.

A small selection of button colours available on an Android Headunit thanks to RGB

Now you know what RGB can do for your android headunit. It can match to your vehicle button illumination. This makes the android headunit integrate better with the vehicle and making it a much more pleasing experience.

Easy to use android headunit RGB app.
RGB button colour selection is by an app. Easy to use colour wheel.

Button colour RGB selection is by an app installed on the android headunit.
All the buttons are sent the same colour, so you can’t have different colour buttons at the same time. All the LEDs will be the colour set in the app.
Not all apps are created equally and some are easier to use than others. Thankfully you only have to do this RGB set-up procedure once to get the button colour you want.

Difficult to use android headunit RGB app
Not a very easy to use android headunit RGB app.

The RGB app is tailored to that particular model of android headunit. The RGB is not part of android so there is no standard. Using an app from a different manufacturer or model will unlikely to be helpful if you find your factory installed RGB app difficult to use.

Do I need RGB?

If you choose an android headunit that does not have RGB function then the ability to change the button colours will be non existent. Even installing the RGB colour control app won’t help you. The LEDs fitted to non-RGB android headunits are just White. The buttons illuminate white and there is no colour selection for them.

RGB vs White

You may be happy with white illumination for the buttons, you may even have white illumination in your vehicle. There is a material cost to the huge factories that produce the Android Headunits. Shaving a fraction of the cost of RGB over White LEDs can help produce a cheaper android headunit. This is why you will often find RGB missing from the very cheap models of android headunit and if this is the reason to avoid them, then that is a good thing.

Set and forget

Should you choose an android headunit with RGB feature?
Yes, if you only use the app once, it makes a big difference to the level of integration to your vehicle. Check our reviews for ‘+ has RGB‘ to indicate that the android headunit is RGB capable. Otherwise your button illumination will always be just White.

An android-headunits.com staff blogger. I am a multi-skilled dogs-body and I also make the coffee ☕

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