Charles River

15 best car radios

작성일 2021-11-02

Choose the same «from the standard» there is something: from automobile «high end», where top models run the show Pioneer, Alpine, across «middle class», where they join Kenwood, Sony and JVC, to class head units «to play», where, no matter how shocking it is, now «skidded» and very loud brands like Telefunken and Nakamichi, which, alas, only had a name, and everything else – typical budget «made in china» level is often even worse than typical «honest Chinese» type Mystery and Prology. They will sound completely different, and this will especially be revealed on acoustics with low sensitivity, for which the signal level will have to be raised more – and this is where these «superfluous» harmonic distortion. If you count on connecting external amplifiers, then the manufacturer has provided «tulips» for the rear, but not for the subwoofer.

And naturally there is «enhancers» like Sound Reconstruction (upsampling with calculation «intermediate» data according to its own algorithm), Sound Realizer (works mainly with the dynamics of the bass, making it more elastic), Space Enhancer (quite a delicate reverb). Equalizer – ten-lane, quite adequate in operation. How to explain it more simply? For example, on the counter next to it there are two radio tape recorders, one of them has the power in the characteristics on the price tag, and in a short line above the display it is designated as 45Wx4, the other – 55Wx4. In short, there are all the possibilities for assembling a high-quality sound system in a car.

Overall sound «heads» not bad, the power of the amplifier is at a level when the distortion is not yet critical, sufficient. Before us is a typical «Chinesehedroid»: seven-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1024×600 pixels, MT6580 quad-core processor with two gigabytes of RAM, Android 8.1 («cleaned up» from unnecessary software) on board… Well, of course, «iron» it’s like six years ago, but we can’t play games from the radio tape recorder and don’t feed gigabytes of memory «Chromium»? It’s another matter when a car manufacturer does not just fit the head unit into the interior design, but also does it «on a grand scale»: at a minimum, you need an adapter frame for a specific machine, allowing you to replace «dear» a radio tape recorder, and even with the connection of a new one, there may be nuances (for example, when «docking» her with a standard multi-wheel). Automatic adjustment of time delays for channels is available, if there is no desire or ability to breed time delays manually. Since the connection works and via USB, and the port can give up to 1.5 A, you can not be afraid for the discharge of the phone.

Magnetic control is quite specific, all buttons are grouped around encoder. USB can be used to connect to smartphones. A high-quality discrete amplifier can make sound more interesting, but it will require additional investment. So, for example, for a subwoofer, you can set the level and phase, use a high-pass filter and a low-pass filter (80/100/120 Hz).

This radio tape recorder came out quite controversial and with complaints about «dampness», Therefore, we cannot squeeze a lot of rating, but the idea, you will agree, interesting: if a smartphone has become in his pocket, then why not make it a full-fledged component of the automotive media system? Equalizer – parametric, allowing you to literally draw a target frequency response on the screen with your finger at 3 or 31 points. No Bluetooth, which is expected for such a price. Be that as it may, the sound of the radio is not bad – another thing is that in this price segment Pioneer is already strongly supported «Chinese», which will have more stuffed in the device, and there will also be more supported formats of media content – and not every buyer will understand the difference in sound, especially when connecting the radio tape recorder to the standard acoustics of some «Logan» or «Grants». But, we note right away – it really will be, and in favor of the Pioneer.

Naturally, the radio tape recorder can work with smartphones with a USB connection, starting with a very «ancient» on Android 4.1. That photos may seem «leaving» Display – it’s just a smartphone and there is for which on the radio «leaving» Only universal fastening. It remains to put the Pioneer Smart Sync application on the smartphone. Amplifier – standard 50 W per channel, high level line outputs are separate for front, rear and subwoofer. We can only advise you to use a radio tape recorder with less «topsy» acoustics, since here the HF range is noticeably compressed and «eroded», that such acoustics will only emphasize.

Car radios are becoming more sophisticated and versatile — with its help, you can not only listen to your favorite musical compositions, but also find out the latest news, weather forecasts and the results of sports competitions on the radio. Considering that this is not a significant number of motorists, it may be interesting in practice, the rating of this car engine will inevitably reduce. Equalizer is the most primitive, everything that is available to the user – this is to enable / disable bass boost, «twist» high or low frequencies, as on the cheapest radio tape recorders.

Reverb and Loudness settings available for Todoroki Sound. To this add a modern Bluetooth module with support for the APTX codec, support for digital rear view chambers AHD and, of course, the ability to work with GPS and GLONASS – A, since «on board» Android, navigation program can be chosen for every taste. 4 gigabytes of RAM will not particularly pursue inquiries. For a radio that can work with lossless audio, this looks like a mockery – so it is worth thinking about a high-quality external amplifier unambiguously. The large BASS button at the encoder involuntarily hints that the radio tape recorder is addressed to amateurs «to hammer» without much musical taste.

In fact, the first thing the radio tape recorder does is stimulate engineering thinking – «maybe I can still fit a normal two-din?». Subwoofer control (well, it’s not for nothing that there is this very button «Bass») Basic, but sufficient for systems of such a level: reverse phases, cutoff frequency with a steep characteristic of a virtual filter (from 50 to 200 Hz). First of all, of course, the radio tape recorder just has to fit into the compartment allocated to it in the car. The power of the built-in amplifier also needs to be borne in mind… but not in the form of bare numbers: manufacturers can measure it as they like, but you need to look at the figure nominal (and not maximum) power, if at the same time the manufacturer also indicates the total harmonic distortion (THD, THD) for this measurement.

Please note that flash drives formatted in NTFS, radio tape recorder «does not see». Further in the ranking — inexpensive radio tape recorder in the characteristic Sony X-shaped design. What when buying a radio of this level – not the most successful solution (when for less money the same Kenwood already offers models with a signal processor!). The Chinese in this market segment have already turned around – We are not just not just a good car radio with a nine-day screen and an 8-core processor running Android 10, but also having a full DSP as part of a sound processing path.

Supports and good old mp3 and FLAC – What else is needed for complete happiness, if you consider that CDs as carriers are already unambiguously outdated? Uncompressed audio supported 24-bit, with a frequency of sampling to 48 kHz. But, be that as it may, the radio tape recorder «understands» FLAC and can fully work with Android smartphones via AOA (Android Open Accessory) 2.0. This, of course, is not a general system yet, but individual nuances of specific cars, but it is already worth looking unambiguously in the direction of radio tape recorders with a shallow installation depth – especially since either a CD drive can increase it (and why do we need disks inconvenient in a car, when you can sketch tracks on a USB flash drive or just connect a smartphone?), or «folding» display of single head units, in most cases, both are not essential.

IPhone owners can use the Kenwood Remote app for the most convenient control of the radio settings – but here, as in any other «processor», there is something to dig into, and it is not very convenient to do it with standard buttons and a one-line display. Control of the subwoofer is provided (to connect it, a pair of rear «tulips» line outputs, respectively, the rear acoustics will have to be connected to the built-in amplifier). Even ID3 tag support is not «brought in».

Some craftsmen even dig it on TDA 7850 (which, however, so much sound does not improve…). Built-in amplifier – 4×50 W, «tulips» line outputs are designed to connect only front channels and a subwoofer. At least navigation software to replace the built-in ones «google maps» I will definitely have to put it – fortunately, the manufacturer did not install any licensed software that would increase the cost of the device.

And it doesn’t matter what kind of music is playing – so, at least, according to Israeli scientists from Ben-Gurion University, according to whose research it does not matter what is now in the playlist, even though Impaled Nazarene, even «Moonlight Sonata»: the main thing is that the music is right for the driver. The model boasts FLAC support and good gadget integration capabilities. That is why discrete sound processors first became popular in car audio, and now the presence of a built-in DSP with DTA can already be considered an unambiguous sign of a good radio.

There are two USB ports: one on the front panel, the second can be brought out on a cord into the glove compartment. The plastic here is rather flimsy, which makes you guess the manufacturer, even with a sealed logo. For «background creation» in principle, a regular radio will be enough. Front acoustics can also be used with per-channel connection (at the cost of abandoning the rear outputs).

Car radio – the thing seems to be not essential, but try to ride without it, especially far: views will immediately change. If seriously, then we have a classic coupling tape recorder, designed to use flash media as a main source. You can also enter the speakers «Profiliate» with a similar selection frequency.

In this regard, the retro radio tape recorder from Prology undoubtedly stands out: the Chinese were able to quite organically combine «stuffing» CD / MP3 radios with sixties style – shiny chrome panels a la radiator grille, two deliberately protruding mushroom-shaped «twists» coarsely knurled… Well, on some GAZ-21 it will no longer have to bashfully hide it out of sight. CPU – Quad-core (4xcortex A7, 1,6gc), RAM – only 1 gigabyte, so the navigation software is preferably used «easier»: Unfortunately, «iron» It is not possible here significantly (but in older versions and processor «slower»). Another thing is that the filling here is not at all for the money: a radio tape recorder «does not understand» uncompressed audio formats (except for CD-Audio, perhaps, but no FLAC), they can be started only through the line-in, covered (like the USB connector) with a plug on the front panel. Both traditional https://cars45.com.gh/listing/bmw/320i/2015 hands-free functions and music streaming using A2DP work. Maybe a radio tape recorder «be friends» and with standard displays.

On it means of a software shell «veneered» 15-band equalizer, subwoofer filters and, naturally, the still temporary correction – most «Delicious» In audio systems with signal processors. Built-in amplifier is standard enough – Four channels of 50 W, without special audiophile delights (however, this hints and lack of support for Lossless formats). Moreover, the quality of the amplifier is worth noting: without using «enhancers» the signal comes with a minimum noise level, good transmission of dynamics.

Officially confirmed by all Masonic Lodges. What’s more, you can switch to 3Way mode using one pair of component tweeter channels, another pair of – for midbass. Moreover, it is convenient that the port – «power», with a current output of up to 1.5 A, which allows you to recharge your phone or tablet with sufficient speed. So at least there is no questions about the navigation, the main thing – so that the program has enough computing resources to work without «Brakes». Moreover, if «native» control in the car is resistive, then the radio tape recorder is connected directly to the wiring without the corresponding model of the car interface unit, it is enough «educate» her according to the instructions.

For linear outputs in the standard 2Way version, you can optionally connect high and low pass filters to the front and rear, for the subwoofer output, of course, only the low-pass filter is adjusted. Another nuance of high-quality car audio – this is the need for the formation of time delays in the directions. But listen only to MP3 / WAV / WMA – Supports Lossless formats are not here as not and Bluetooth. The head unit can go online independently – There is a slot for a SIM card, a 4G antenna is included in the kit.

Basically, from the traditional «Sonevsky» a number of this radio tape recorder does not stand out, and if you are familiar with the characteristic sound of these head units, then you are also familiar with the DSX-A212UI. And the volume level was not exceeded: the fan is more dangerous on the road «classics», listening to Bach at outrageous decibels than a lover of true Norwegian black metal. Not a particularly convenient option, you must notice. A radio tape recorder with a seven-inch screen has standard functionality for this class: plays music from CD / MP3 discs, supports DVD, USB-media and SD cards. Bluetooth?

Forget. In addition, the car radio supports Bluetooth, as indicated by «BT» In the title. With support for Lossless-Audio, yes – yes. Equalizer – 13 bands, with Q-factor adjustment.

So it’s time, having estimated the budget, start flipping through catalogs – and this is just our job. As befits Alpine, the radio tape recorder pleases with compatibility with the standard multimedia control buttons on the steering wheel of the car. To access the Internet, the head unit can receive Wi-Fi, distributed by a smartphone or tablet, or use a USB modem. The sound processed by the built-in DSP is passed through a 13-band equalizer with the ability to use «enhancers» like Advanced Sound Retriever (proprietary Pioneer technology).

On the other hand, an external Wi-Fi antenna is found on the back of the device: since there is no possibility of connecting a USB modem, you will have to use your smartphone as an access point. And all this is more than 7 thousand? Hmmm… Second antenna – GPS for work. Moreover, which is traditional for the budget segment, it is designed primarily for owners of phones and tablets on Android – USB port supports Android Open Accessory 2 standard.0.

Although the height and width «landing window» have long been standardized, even the depth of the DIN compartment can be different, this is especially critical for compact cars, where «torpedo» strive to make it more compact, freeing up space in the cabin, and as a result, a too long radio tape recorder may simply not snap into place, resting against the stove body or its air ducts. Happy shopping and good music! This radio tape recorder is unambiguously recommended by fans of the conspiracy theories: when entering the settings on its screen, the inscription lights up «Illuminati». Crossovers can operate in 3-Way and 2-Way modes.

Already at least the background «mutter» the radio makes the trip much more comfortable, and the psychological state of the driver directly affects the driving style and the risk of an accident, you can’t argue with that. Additional «yummy» – connection to original car buttons via an optional adapter. But the equalizer itself, alas, is three-band, like on radio tape recorders «lower-middle» level – however, frankly, the sound does not spoil. Sane THD of 1% is achieved with an output power of no more than 17 W per channel. Sound tuning capabilities are good for a radio that does not pretend to «high end».

Google Play in the radio tape recorder is not cut out of the operating system, so if necessary, the necessary applications will be delivered without dancing with a tambourine. That is, here traditionally you will have to collect the sum of the output signals and «cut» its filter for a subwoofer, as with budget «heads» when connected, they usually receive. It is possible to connect a rear view camera, as well as conveniently programmable via the OSD menu connection to the standard buttons on the steering wheel of the car.

it – quite simple outward «Unlessless» Magnetol designed to work with USB carriers and AUX port. Time delays between channels are also adjustable. For equalizer, you can adjust the width of the bands for bass, treble and midrange. Equalizer Magnittole – Five-band, there are separate subwoofer exit settings. DSP supports speaker distance adjustment in 2cm increments and a maximum distance of 610cm – this is enough with a margin for any car.

We considered various options and compiled a rating of the best car radios of 2021, which includes both expensive models that can satisfy the needs of the owner of an expensive car, and cheaper radios that the budget of an average resident of our country can afford. Well, in fact, all: if you have enough opportunities for this «Head», whether it is worth paying more for unused functionality? So either worth use «Tulips» linear outputs, or come true with the fact that «chips» Magnetola has a lot, but it sounds a little less than «no way». What these numbers say maximum power? Nothing, in fact, because it may well turn out that only in the depths of the passport, the first radio will have a rated power of 22 W with a THD of 1%, and the second – the same 22 W, but with 5% distortion.

However, in fact, it is, of course, not a sign of belonging to a secret society – simply «Illumination» It does not fit into the segment screen, it is just a backlight settings menu. The car radio will help to brighten up the loneliness of the driver. Channel delays, of course, are also configurable. The equalizer has ten presets, but it is more interesting, of course, to work with your hands: the setting is in ten bands, which is much better than a dull one «bass / treble» in inexpensive radio tape recorders. Graphic equalizer in settings – seven-lane.

But the player should be left standard: physical buttons in third-party ones will most likely not work. Complete with good acoustics, the car radio will even please. As a maximum, you will have to look for a radio tape recorder «under the car» – but this is beyond the scope of our rating. At home, acoustics are built on the principle of symmetrical placement relative to the listener, and there it is not so felt – in the car, the front left side (if you do not have a right-hand drive, of course) is physically closest to the driver, and the rear right speaker – farthest. Process «digital sound» interconnected processors from Toshiba and ROHM Semiconductor: one decodes audio, the second cleans the analog signal from «digital noise» and regulates the levels – that is, finishing is carried out in analog form, which means a lot for sound quality.

However, we will still take this radio tape recorder into the rating, albeit in the very last place. True, there are already smartphone owners «screwed up» Google itself, which introduced AOA support since Android 5.0 but «sawed out» her already in «eighth» green robot. Nice plus – support not just a rear view camera, but also digital cameras AHD720 / AHD1080, and the head unit automatically detects which camera is connected – analog or digital. Indeed, there are no fine sound settings here, you will have to limit yourself to a five-band equalizer – full-fledged DSP with DTA did not fit into the budget. But if it does not exist at all, its functionality or the sound itself does not suit?

Then in most cases there is no problem: the installation bays are DIN standardized (Deutsches Institut für Normung) back in 1979 (DIN 75490, since 1984 this standard has been adopted as international ISO 7736), which is why now almost any radio tape recorder will fit either into «single-din» (180×50 mm), or in «two-din» (180×100) compartment. Sound… Well, they don’t expect any revelations from such devices, but a 14-band equalizer (parametric, not ordinary graphic!) and channel-by-channel delay settings, which is already quite good. Our review of the best Avtomagnetol 1DIN ALPINE UTE-92BT. But the sound, externally on the Chinese tradition «Fucking» (An assed 36-band equalizer was lifted in the shell) in practice very sad – As a terminal amplifier, the Banalny chip TDA 7388 is used, which gives 28 W in the 4-ohmic load already under books 10%, and in a datashet peak «Masilizes» Not more than 41 W per canal with at all not specified by the manufacturer of nonlinear distortion coefficient. Built-in amplifier is not particularly interesting – its 22 W of constant power (at 50 W per channel of maximum), it gives already at 5% THD, and this is a lot.

Sound… Well, there is sound here, but, of course, completely far from the standards of audiophile quality – which, again, is quite typical for «Chinese». Also supported by Bluetooth with A2DP profile, there is a complete remote control. If a signal is applied to them synchronously, then the larger the car, the sharper the ear will feel «discord», because the speed of sound is not that great, in fact. Well, and the traditional ability to kick up the bass «above the roof», beloved Sony, too, because it regularly finds its customers. And for all this is almost 10 thousand?

Well, yes, costs «Sea Specific». In the current version, this radio has already uses Android 10, although you can still find older issues on previous versions of the operating system (and Android 8.1, and 9.0). PS1, if it is installed.

It is worth being careful with the radio tape recorder. Please note when installing that amplifier cooling – active, a compact fan is installed on the rear panel «torpedo» shouldn’t get in the way. It’s all here «in the classics»: encoder for volume control and menu navigation on the left, USB connector – right, monochrome screen centered.

Here is a rather good inexpensive 1DIN car radio for those who just want to put it in its place, twist two or three settings — and all. In principle, if 99% of the time you use only the basic functions of the radio tape recorder (volume control, scrolling through tracks), then the smartphone can be used once for setting, and then only use the radio tape recorder controls – however, the most convenient, of course, is precisely the one conceived by the manufacturer «symbiosis». In terms of functionality, the car radio is rather boring – Able to play CD / MP3 discs, has a USB connector on the front removable panel, mounted under one lid with a slot under the SD memory card, has from behind four «Tulip» Outputs on an external amplifier and two «Tulip» Aux-input (however, for AUX there is a standard 3.5-mm Jack in front).

What is the problem with 99% of radio tape recorders in the modern market? In their deliberately «modern», sometimes to eye tearing, design.

15 best car radios


p> Built-in amplifier of course – «not a fountain», but with an external amplifier, the device can become quite interesting in sound. Smartphone owners on «Android», alas, they are deprived of such an opportunity – by cable, the application from this operating system does not work due to paranoia «Google» in some sense, but there is no Bluetooth in the radio. The built-in amplifier is assembled on a TDA 7850 microcircuit: this means that we have 50 watts of maximum power at a 4-ohm load at 30 watts nominal (on a 2-ohm – 80W maximum @ 55W nominal)… when the amplifier gives out as much as 10% THD.

Just because at least someone made a radio tape recorder in «correct» retro style.