When it comes to stereos, Alpine is hands down, that one-of-a-kind brand that comes to mind. The giant has been making mind-blowing head units for years. And their recent models have made some amazing upgrades.
Now, with all the new stereos in the loose, we won’t blame you if you get confused and pull your hair. It’s not that easy to choose the best Alpine head unit when every model seems pitch-perfect to you.
But let’s face it, you’re not going to buy a handful of stereos and check each of them out to decide, right? Let us do that thing for you.
We’re here with the top 8 head units from Alpine that are running hot in the market right now. Get to know their features and see which one suits you best.
Best Alpine Head Units In 2023 – Quick Summary
In a rush? If you don’t have time to read the whole review section, you can take a look at the summary where we’ve discussed the stereos in a tiny brief.
THIS PRODUCT IS TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE. PLEASE VISIT THE REVIEW SECTION FOR A SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT.
This Alpine CDE-172BT is an excellent device that is built to satisfy any audiophile out there. It is loaded with innovative features, offers you ease of adjustment and comes within affordable price points. And that's why it has earned its place on our ultimate top 10 single din head unit list.
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For faster response and a smooth touchscreen experience, the ILX 107 has no other alternative. The touchscreen is superfast. You’ll get to have the seamless feel while using the screen.
THIS PRODUCT IS TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE. PLEASE VISIT THE REVIEW SECTION FOR A SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT.
If you’re not much of a stereo enthusiast and you just want to go for an affordable and average option, the Alpine CDE-17o is your go-to product.
Reviews of The 8 Best Alpine Head Units
To help you pick, we’ve discussed each model briefly. Give these reviews a thorough read. Who knows? You can get your go-to product right away. If it needs, you can take notes too.
This is our suggested replacement for Alpine CDE-170 Single Din Car Stereo Receiver and Alpine CDE-172BT Stereo Receiver.
Best Alpine Single Din Head Unit
Team Alpine has done a tremendous job introducing the CDE 172BT. We have to say, this Alpine radio right here can simply make you go wow. And you can tell it by its look though. But wait till you get into its features though.
We loved its easy user-friendly interface. Just press the play button and Voila! The stereo will do the rest all by itself.
Thanks to the Advanced Bluetooth Technology joining hands with the FLAC support and Audio streaming, you’ll experience quality-phone calls that will have crystal clear sound more than ever. Besides, staying tuned to your music files is just easier with this beast right here.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a huge audio library on your smartphone. You can play anything without even plugging your smartphone in. You can connect your latest android phone, iPhone, or iPod with this device. The USB will allow you to have top-notch quality when it comes to iPod playback.
Guess the best part? Your phone will never run out of juice. The USB cable keeps on powering your phone while playing the audios at the same time.
The Bluetooth connection will help you all the way. Besides, for better sound quality, the CDE 172BT takes access to the AOA.
Speaking of sound quality, we were expecting to get the best quality sound in this price range. And guess what? We were satisfied with it. We got nothing less than the best. With the 24 BIT DAC in its arsenal, you can experience the ultimate sound quality; doesn’t matter which media resource you use.
If you want to add more quality to your listening experience, no worries here boss. The CDE 172 BT uses USB to playback FLAC files like a pro.
Besides, unlike the typical ones in the marketplace, our champ uses as much as 4V pre-outs. As a result, you can make great upgrades to it. You can easily turn it into a full-blown sound system. Not to mention, replacing its speakers, if they get damaged somehow, is a snap as well.
As for controlling it, you can use the current Bluetooth steering wheel that your car comes with. Or, you can control the stereo using a 3rd party adapter as well.
If you’re getting your hands on a 3rd party adapter, we suggest you go for brands like PAC or Axxess. You’ll also find the RUE 4202 wireless remote control compatible with this great stereo.
What wooed us is the process of taking and making calls. It’s more than convenient. Whether it’s your smartphone or your head unit, you can answer your calls without even touching anything. Experience what it feels like to be in the future with the automatic process.
If you’re listening to the radio, the incoming call will mute it right away while you can have a nice conversation with people on the other side.
Best Alpine Double Din Head Unit
The ILX-W650 is a charmer. One of the best alpine car stereos? Yep, that we don’t have any doubt on. Now the question is if you’re going to love it too.
As soon as you’ll open the box, you’ll find the 7 inches capacitive touchscreen. It looks exquisitely gorgeous. Thanks to the 2 finger swipe motion, you’ll feel like Tony Start taking control of his futuristic car. Turning the volume up and down is simply a piece of cake. You can also pause the audio simply by swiping left or right.
Streaming audio using the ILX W650 is simply a breeze. It doesn’t matter what streaming app you’re using; the easy user interface will make it a child’s play.
Let’s not throw the ‘Android Auto or the Apple Carplay’ compatibility out of the scenario. Use your Android phone with your stereo with no problem at all using the Android Auto and embrace the future.
iPhone users (if you’re one), on the other hand, can use the Apple Carplay. Playing audios, get your directions, taking access to texts messages, receiving or making calls, you name it, you’re just on cloud 9. Feeling lazy? Try the voice command and you won’t have to touch anything.
With the 9-band parametric equalizer in its rig, you can get the best out of your stereo when it comes to sound quality. The 6 channel time correction tool makes sure you can control the built-in amplifier just like that. As for adjusting the bass, the subwoofer level control has got your back. This time, it’s completely built-in.
Now, there are tons of stereos that don’t allow you to add extra amplifiers. But the ILXW650 turns the table. It comes with not just one, but as many as 3 sets of solidly built 4v pre-amp outputs joining hands with the subwoofer level control.
But here’s something that might surprise you. At this price range, you can’t really think of having more than 1 camera input, do you? Well, NEWSFLASH! This beast comes with 2 camera inputs. You can assign them as the rear or front camera of your car. The variety of adjustments it offers is something that needs praising as well.
One thing that may disappoint you a bit though. You won’t be able to customize the colors and the sound of the stereo. However, who needs it anyway when the sound quality is this great and the looks it holds shimmers a premium vibe.
Best for Sound Quality
Alpine stereo models have one thing in common. They look great. Take the UTE 73BT for example. Have a look at it and say ‘It doesn’t look good.’ You won’t be able to.
The slender design will blend in with the aura of your car perfectly. We loved the fixed red illumination the sleek LCD shimmers. And not to mention, like always, Alpine kept its signature rotary knob that allows you to control what you’re listening to.
The sound-tuning app was pretty easy to use and the interface was mindboggling. You can download the app, with no charge whatsoever, via your Android smartphone or your iPhone. Guess the best part though? You can save not just up to 1, 2 or 3, not just even 10, but as many as 100 different sound settings.
As for the audio-streaming, it has never been this easier; you’ll agree. Take the control of the audio using your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and Voila! There’s no need for you to fuss with your smartphone or fiddle with it.
You can say goodbye to all those earpieces and bulky headsets goodbye once and for all. With the Bluetooth wireless technology in its arsenal, you can hear everything and anything in your car, without even using any additional adapters.
For better sound customization you can adjust the mic gain, ringtone volume and phone output within a snap. Plus, there are 5 different sound quality settings you can try. Choose the perfect settings and get the balance as you drive.
Got iPhone or iPod? Listen to whatever you want to listen to and control your favorite media sources in your car. You can connect your iPhone or iPod with the UTE 73 BT and take control. Shuffle through your playlists, albums, genre, songs, podcasts, you just name it.
Did we forget about Pandora though? Well, the UTE73BT allows you to take full control of Pandora and you can do it straight from your dash. Either use a USB or go wireless, you can choose your favorite Pandora channels using Thumbs Down or Thumbs Up button in the faceplate.
Since the UTE73BT is compatible with SiriusXM, you can connect a SiriusXM SXV300 Tuner Kit (which, obviously is sold separately) and get the best of sports, entertainment, weather information, talk shows and news.
All the credit goes to the USB connection, you’ll get to dive into the high-quality iPod playback and experience faster access speed.
Say goodbye to worries if you’ve got larger audio libraries. There’s this Quick Search mode featuring Alphabet Search. Scrolling through the long lists of your mp3 files is just a snap. Just find the letter you need and you can jump to the exact audio file you want to listen to.
Once you find your favorite song, you can use the built-in Equalizer for the best-quality sound experience. There are 10 different EQ modes to choose from. If this isn’t enough for you, you can adjust the 9-Band Parametric Equalizer for getting an even better sound response curve.
When it comes to making and taking calls, you’re getting all the convenience in the world. UTE73BT comes with a supplied microphone in its rig. You can use it to speak, listen to the person on the other side of the phone. What we felt convenient is the fact that whenever you’re getting an incoming call, it mutes the song or whatever you’re listening to.
Thanks to the call waiting mode, you can receive a 2nd call while the first call can wait for a bit. Simply press ‘2’ to activate the call waiting mode.
Best for Aesthetics
Size matters! Get the 9 inches of joy right away with the Alpine ILXF309. Talking about the size of the touchscreen though. Thus, the name HALO9. Even if it’s a little ‘too-big’ for some people, we think it’s still a great addition to everyone’s car as it comes with an aesthetic look.
Even though it has an expensive price tag, which can be quite challenging for some people to afford, here’s good news too. It also looks expensive. If you add it to your car, it will look more like an Android Tablet is floating on the Dashboard of your car. Looks great, isn’t it?
The bezels around this unit were a bit large too. We think it would’ve been much better if the bezels were a bit slimmer though. But that’s not something to have a headache about either. There’s this bottom row of buttons, which look pretty ‘physical’ but they’re capacitive as well. We think team Alpine did a great job over here.
Now imagine a stereo that doesn’t fit your car, especially if you’re still running an old-school one. TLXF309 won’t disappoint you here though. You see, it has got all the bells and whistles most modern stereos possess. However, unlike those, it’s basically a single DIN unit. So yes, if you’ve got a single slot in your car, this little boy will blend in.
Let’s talk about the sound quality a bit? If you want us to describe it shortly, we’d say ‘It’s First-Class’. If you set the ILXF309 to 40% volume, we think it was more like setting the volume of your stock stereo at 100%. Yep, it’s that loud.
Like other high-end models, this alpine 9 inch head unit boasts a built-in EQ as well. You can also download it as an app that will allow you to have granular control over the sound. Tweaking the balance and frequencies as well as the spatial dynamics or even the fade wasn’t much of a hard nut to crack either.
Since you’ll have both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, you can sync both Android smartphones or iPhone or even iPods. However, in this case, you won’t be able to get any wireless facilities. Listening to satellite radios won’t be a trouble as you’ve got SiriusXM ready for you.
Let’s talk about some personalization, shall we? Customizing the output is easy here. You can do it from each source. One thing you should keep in mind though. Even though it’s super-easy to use, you’ll have a hard time installing it. Make sure you hire someone professional to install it for you.
Best Only Android
Let’s talk about another Alpine single din car stereo here. The CDE175 BT is a noisemaker in the stereo world. Heavy-duty body, aesthetic looks, amazing sound quality and attractive user interface, if you mix all these, you’ll get something like this beast.
The LCD it comes with has got higher contrast compared to others. This teams up with the RGB lighting to make it look more exquisite. This time, you’re getting 5 times more contrast and that too on a convenient screen.
Like always, you’ll get the signature rotary knobs that allow you to control the audios. The front panel auxiliary unit is something worth mentioning when it comes to this Alpine radio. If you’re having passengers in your car, they’ll be able to plug the media players. It’s simply a walk in the park.
Turn the stereo on. Whether you’re listening to songs, news, or podcasts; the crystal-clear sound is there to make you feel wow. The makers have included the 24-Bit DAC. For which, whenever you’re listening to the sound, you’re getting the ultimate digital quality experience.
If you think you need to customize the sound quality a bit, you’ll find the 3-band parametric EQ pretty handy though. Bass, treble and mids, you can choose either one and set the right frequency according to your convenience.
Still hungry for better sound quality? Your stereo can playback FLAC files. Use your USB cable for a better listening experience. Or, you can create a louder system using the three 5V pre-outs.
No, there’s no way you can get all those weird noise interfaces. Our stereo here has got a tuned microphone in it. This little friend cuts down all the noise feedback and interference like a pro. As a result, all you get in your car is optimal placement for the best sound quality.
If you feel like talking to anyone or taking calls, you won’t have to use your hands to pick your phone up. Let the CDE175BT get it for you. The wireless Bluetooth technology has got your back. There’s no need for you to get your hands on any handpiece or additional adapters.
After dropping the call, you can go through your audio library and use your Bluetooth to select the files. You can even stream the audio without even plugging in your phone.
When the battery of your phone is dead, you can also charge it with the CDE175BT. Just use your USB cable and connect your phone with the stereo and Voila!
After your phone is all juiced up, whether it’s Android or an iPhone, you can take the control of Pandora directly from your dash.
Suggested Replacement for Alpine iLX-107
Best for Smooth Touchscreen
Ever wished the touchscreen of your stereo was more responsive, smoother and fast? Well, this Alpine double din car stereo will fill the gaps for you. There are Alpine car stereo systems that have a fast touchscreen interface, true. However, this son of a gun here is better known to everyone for its super responsive touch-screen.
Meaning, you’ll have a faster response, smoother swiping experience and you don’t have to dip your fingers hard on it.
If you judge it even by its look, the touchscreen interface looks rich and posh. Set it up on your car and the Dashboard will have this ‘Cyberpunk’ vibe. It looks more like a modern flagship tablet with a Retina screen.
Not just the screen though, this one comes with a better microphone sensitivity as well. We felt that the team really put some hard works into it, making it a top-tier option.
Especially, when it comes to using your phone or incoming and outgoing calls or utilizing the voice commands, this microphone lets you handle the game super-fast with crystal-clear sound.
As for the Bluetooth support, we never thought Alpine needed to make any upgrades on it anyway. Like the recent models, the Bluetooth 4.0 protocol offers you much more stability and higher consistency. However, you might get some sudden drop on connections sometimes.
To take your ‘wireless connectivity experience’ to a whole new height, team Alpine has used a 5 GHz WiFi connection, which obviously is, another game-changer. Whether you’re using an Android or Apple device, you’ll have all the consistency in the world. The connection is more secure than ever.
That’s not the end of the features by the way. You’ll have two USB connection ports just in case you need to connect your hardware devices. Connect your phone with the stereo and let it have all the control.
From listening to songs to receiving calls or even calling someone from your side, the stereo is smart enough to do everything as your command within a blink. Besides, you can also charge your phone via the USB cable by borrowing the energy from the ILX107.
Plus, from now on, you can use the factory entertainment settings of your car. In fact, you can even use the factory audios too. How? Well, the ILX 107 is compatible with iDataLink. This also allows you to improve the audio quality.
As for adjusting the audio settings, you can use the Tune It app from Alpine and use it on your smartphone. You can also use the 9-band equalizer to get the best performance when it comes to sound quality. If you want to add a rear-view camera to your vehicle, the ILX107 supports that too.
With all these features in its arsenal, if you want to call it the best Alpine Car Stereo, no one will stop you.
This is our suggested replacement for Alpine CDE-170 Single Din Car Stereo Receiver and Alpine CDE-172BT Stereo Receiver.
Here’s another single din car stereo that might fill your cup of tea if you’re a newbie in the car stereo world. This one right here has got a red color that stands out and makes it a prime. It’s just aesthetically pleasing.
The white illumination joins hands with the red buttons. As a result, when someone sees this stereo in your Dashboard, they surely will praise it for the looks.
Try playing the FLAC files, WMW files and MP3 files. You’ll get the best results when it comes to sound quality. The LCD display comes with a pretty high contrast which allows you to check out all the messages in it clearly.
If you want to give your sound quality a boost, the 3-band parametric equalizer has got your back. To be honest, out of all the Alpine car stereos we’ve reviewed so far, we think this one has got better sound equalizing capabilities. At least what you’re getting in this price range is truly amazing.
How? You might ask. Well, it has got 11 preset EQ settings. You can shuffle through the options and set your own priority to get the sound quality you need.
Besides, it has got a premium digital to analog converter (24 bit), which makes it one of a kind. There are also as many as 5 bass profiles with both low and high pass filters.
Now, here’s one downside though. If you use a smartphone, you can use only Android phones with this stereo. But we found the Alpine car stereo remote that comes with the set pretty helpful. Though, the ones who have already used an Alpine touch screen radio, won’t find it pretty convenient.
Lastly, we say that at this price range, this particular Alpine single car stereo is pretty much okay-ish. It’s not that high-end but for someone who wants an average car stereo, we think this one will be a good choice.
Best Stereo with Built-In DAB
We’re going to wrap up our review section with the CDE205DAB Alpine radio. You can guess by the name that it has got built-in DAB+ Digital Radio. Meaning, from now on, even traditional FM radios will sound crystal-clear. This time the DAB+ Digital radio uses the new advanced digital technology.
What you get at the end of the day is not only a noise-free sound quality while streaming FM radios, but it’s outstanding as well. Besides, this allows you to get a much wider radio station range. Scanning through the channels is just pretty easy; it’s no rocket science.
If you’re fond of internet radios, you can go for seamless streaming. Download your desired internet radio apps via your smartphone and connect them using your Bluetooth connection or AUX input connector and that’s it.
Speaking of smartphones, the 205DAB is made for both Android users and iPhone enthusiasts. Connect your smartphone using a USB device and you can listen to all those audio files in your library. You can even playback high-quality FLAC files too.
For better sound quality, you tune it and adjust the sound according to your personal preference. The Bass Engine SQ offers you amazing bass output, while the EQ functions allow you to equalize the sounds.
While listening to podcasts, news or songs, if somehow you get a phone call, the stereo will mute the audio all by itself. You won’t have to even touch your phone to take the call. The high-quality Bluetooth connection has got your back.
To add more style to the atmosphere, you can adjust the color scheme of the display and the buttons. All thanks to the full RG spectrum, you get to have the perfect illumination color that matches your dashboard.
Q1: Can I access Apple Carplay and Android Auto with my Alpine Car Stereo?
Ans: Yes, you can access both Apple Carplay and Android Auto with your Alpine Car stereo only if it supports them. Now, it’s unusual that an Alpine Carplay head unit isn’t compatible with Android Auto.
Meaning, if it supports Carplay, most of the time it supports Android Auto as well. The system allows you to run both audio and video files without any trouble. However, few models can have exceptions too.
Q2: Will a Double Din Head unit fit in my Dashboard?
Ans: As most modern cars come with extra space for the double-din stereo, you can install your Alpine car stereo pretty easily. And if you are facing any difficulties, you can always get a faceplate and make some room for your sound system.
Q3: Which one is better, single or Double-Din Stereo?
Ans: It doesn’t matter if you get a single or double-din stereo by Alpine; you will always have an optimal experience. However, Double-DIN comes with some additional features such as backup camera inputs and touchscreen display.
On the other hand, you won’t be getting these benefits in a single one. Therefore, you should pay a bigger check and get a Double-DIN stereo.
Q4: What makes Alpine a good brand?
Ans: Here are some reasons that make Alpine one of the most excellent brands out there.
1. Enhanced Quality: Alpine always uses the best components and technology to provide trouble-free service when it is about the quality of a product. The company is dedicated to making top-notch electronic car equipment; that’s no secret.
This brand has been manufacturing top-tier electronics to ensure high-quality sound. And so, they have had a loyal base of customers for over fifty years!
2. Research and Development: To keep their products up-to-date, Alpine is doing continuous research on what their customers want. In this way, they know their customer’s feedback and try to improve the product quality according to that.
3. Innovative Technology: Alpine is known for its advanced technology, and they always keep updating the products. Therefore, every time you replace a stereo, you will get a highly advanced and improved model without any doubt.
4. Great Customer Support: Another amazing fact about Alpine is that they are always ready to solve your problem. Every time you call with a complaint, they will carefully listen to you and immediately give you an effective solution.
This company offers you technical and customer support via email and phone calls. So whenever you have trouble, contact them the right way!
That was pretty much it on the best Alpine head unit. Now, if you’re still saying ‘what is the best alpine head unit’, we’d go for the Alpine CDE 172BT. It has got the value of the money and at this price range, all the features it offers just hit the mark.
We also loved the iLX-W650 from the brand. If you want to get functionality with a little bit of style, this beast is for you.
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