Best Touch Screen Car Stereo

If you have purchased or rented  a car in the past couple of years, you will be familiar with touch screen car stereo systems.  Unlike the manual systems of the past, touch screens operate very similarly to newer technologies such as smartphones, tablets or touchscreen computers.  These systems offer a variety of advantages.  For instance, it is very easy to choose FM, AM, satellite radio and more.   Most systems allow integration with smart phones allowing owners to use an auxiliary cord to connect their phones and access their saved playlists from the phone’s memory or apps such as Pandora.

Touch Screen Car Stereo Systems come standard on current model vehicles.  For instance, the 2016 Honda Accord Sedan EX comes equipped with a touch screen stereo system that has new Apple CarPlayTM technology.    Base model vehicles also have touch screen technology.  The Toyota Yaris comes equipped with a touch screen stereo system that may be used to select AM or FM radio and the CD player; however, volume and station selection still use traditional knobs and buttons.

For anyone looking to upgrade to a touch screen stereo system or to a more advanced system, there are many products on the market that should be considered.   This review will cover two Pioneer systems, a JVC system and one available from Kenwood.  The systems have similar basic features; however, price, device compatibility and add-on options differ.

Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS

The Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS is a touch screen car radio system with a DVD receiver.  It features a seven inch display screen and back lighting.  The system has an HD radio tuner, Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius radio (ready), and USB hookups.  The system may be placed in AppRadio mode which allows access to a variety of apps when connected to an iPhone.  Pandora may be accessed via bluetooth or direct connectivity to iPhone or Android.  Additionally, the system may play MP3 files and has a rear display capability if a back-up camera is installed.

Customer reviews indicate that the system is user friendly yet sophisticated enough for the technologically savvy to appreciate.  The sound quality is reportedly great and works well with either android or iPhone.  There were some concerns from android users since the system is partial to Apple Apps.  Most customers indicated that the Pioneer system, priced below $500, was a quality purchase.  For those who like a variety of options for operating the system, it does come with a remote control.

Pioneer AVH270BT

For anyone interested in a quality, lower priced touchscreen system, Pioneer manufactures the AVH270BT model.  This touchscreen stereo has a six inch screen and bluetooth capability.  With a starting price of $280, the system can be used to listen to radio stations and access information from a cell phone via bluetooth or USB.   The colors on the screen may be customized for individual customers.  Since this is a basic model, there will be additional costs for installation and adding upgraded components.  For instance, this model does not come with Onstar capability or steering wheel controls.

If you’re looking for a basic touch screen car stereo, this is a great purchase.  It has an easy to use touchscreen; can be easily hooked up to an existing rear camera; and the bluetooth works well for audio streaming and phone calls.  It does not come with a remote control, however, all of the buttons are very responsive and easy to use.   Several customers noted that this system is designed for USB hook-up to iPhone.  However, android phones may be connected via bluetooth and works fine for playing Pandora and hands-free phone calls.

JVC KWAV71BT

This JVC touchscreen stereo system is jam packed with features.  The seven inch touch screen has a beautiful display.  Basic features include a CD (read / write), Bluetooth capability and USB ports.  The system is also Sirius XM radio ready (requires a subscription).  Manufacturer specifications indicate that this system allows device contact storage (may be transferred from cell phone), hands free calling, voice recognition dialing SMS message notification and a proximity sensor.   USB ports are available and are compatible to iPhone and iPod.   The screen may be programmed for multiple language display.  Finally, the control panel is detachable.

This system is priced above $400.00 and, per customer reviews, is worth the purchase price.  In addition to USB connectivity, a memory card may be used to view pictures or listen to music; the DVD player allows viewing of videos or movies; and music may be accessed via CD, MP3, live streaming (and memory card).  Before purchase, it is suggested that you contact customer service to confirm which iPhone models are compatible.  The JV KWAV71 BT allows for a variety of upgrades and plug-ins.  For instance, you can add a steering column control unit; purchase a remote control; add a rear view camera and more.

Kenwood DDX372BT

The Kenwood DDX372BT is an in-dash receiver with a six inch touchscreen.  Just like the other models, it has AM / FM tuning, DVD, and bluetooth.  This system is compatible to iPhone / iPod and may be easily connected via USB or bluetooth.   The DVD  / CD features work well for video, MP3 and more.  The AM / FM radio allows 24 presets and the system is Sirius XM radio ready.  In addition, the system is rear camera ready, has controls for Pandora, and allows use of a variety of apps (Apple only).

For android phone users, this touchscreen system connects well via bluetooth.  Android users will have no problems with Pandora, hands free calling or streaming music from a playlist.  In addition, android, apple devices and flash drives (for downloaded music) may be connected via USB.  The audio sound is great as long as you don’t try to push the volume to the max.  The touchscreen is easy to use allowing easy navigation between the tuner, apps, music folders and more.

If you’re looking for a touch screen car stereo, the items reviewed above are all great options.  They may be installed as upgrades in both older model and current model vehicles.  Each of the stereos integrate well with android or iPhone via bluetooth or direct connection via USB.  Though most of the stereos have more Apple-ready features, the Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS has new technology that allows the system to be placed in Apple Mode which allows access to additional apps.  Before selecting a system, read reviews for the audio, connectivity and interface.

The video below shows an easy way to install a touchscreen car stereo.

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