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Twelve Non-ugly Single DIN Car Stereos - Ratings and GuideGuide Started By Joseph ... on May 2014 Last Updated on August 2014 | 24 Contributions | Comments
The typical aftermarket car stereo is made of cheap plastic and filled with multi-colored flashing lights and displays, with buttons of random shapes and sizes strewn with abandon across the faceplate, and flashing lights everywhere. To certain demographics this is probably quite appealing, however those with more refined taste generally look for design statements that are more understated.
There are a limited number of aftermarket car stereos that are simpler and more elegant. This guide is meant to be a collection of those choices, with pros and cons for each.
First decision: Feature set
Modern new car info-tainment systems include bluetooth pairing with iphones and android phones, and are capable of at least performing hands-free calling and streaming of music from the phone. More advanced new car infotainment systems can also have voice controls, may be able to read and write text messages and emails using voice, and perform navigation functions. The most advanced car stereos can do all of this and more, but many of the choices in this guide are much more limited, and in fact many don't even have bluetooth. There is definitely a feature set tradeoff potential if you are seeking a non-ugly stereo.
The highest end (and therefore most expensive) car stereos are styled in an understated manner, and are reported to have excellent sound quality. The tradeoff at this level is price (they are quite expensive) and complexity. For example, the Pioneer DEX-P99RS has no built-in amplifier, you are required to provide your own. It also has very complex equalization controls.
Where to Buy?
Vendor Crutchfield has a long history selling car audio, offers excellent fit kits for all vehicles, and expert advice from long standing employees.
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