Most cars come with a built-in stereo system, but it’s only natural to upgrade to an aftermarket one as most of them aren’t of high quality. While many people suggest splurging on car stereos, we won’t recommend that as the right decision.
Many looking for aftermarket stereos are on a budget, and we found $200 to be the proper budget margin.
In this article, we will share our top picks for budget car stereos, and we will also discuss how you can pick the best car stereo under 200 for yourself. So, let’s get started!
Best Car Stereo Under 200 – Quick Summary
In this section, we’ll share glimpses of each product. If you’re running short on time, you can go through these to get a basic idea about these products. Every product listed below is of high quality, but each of them offers some unique features.
For our runners-up, the little brother of the previous one takes the crown. The features are still comparable with other systems in this list and the sound quality is great too!
It features Bluetooth, DVD player with 6.2 inches LED touchscreen. Inputs: USB, SD, Aux, USB Charging, Rear Camera, & Steering Wheel Control.
Multimedia DVD Receiver with 6.2" WVGA Display, and Built-in Bluetooth AVRCP 1.6. Easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to the AVH-210EX without having to go through complicated settings. The device is compatible with Android and iPhone.
One unique feature of this unit is the light on the dashboard can be customized. You can choose from red, green, and blue colors for the buttons, allowing you to blend the head unit with the rest of the car aesthetic.
This one easily takes the spot as the best overall car stereo with a backup camera you can buy thanks to its large display, great audio and cool connectivity features.
The AUX jack will let you enjoy the sound at a higher fidelity compared to the Bluetooth connection. However, if Bluetooth connectivity is what you prefer, then you can do that too. The built-in Bluetooth module will help you connect your mobile devices to this easily.
For your convenience, the dashboard comes illuminated with white light. So, you’ll be able to find the right buttons for yourself even if it’s dark. As the lighting is white, it’ll blend in with any environment, despite the aesthetics inside the car.
Reviews of The 10 Best Car Stereos Under $200
There isn’t a specific car stereo unit that’s best for all, but each unit reviewed in this section offers unique features that make them best for a specific set of requirements.
1. ATOTO A6 Double Din Car Navigation Stereo
- Display : 7 inches LCD Screen
- Dimensions: 10.47 x 10.43 x 6.73 inches
- Storage Capacity: 16 GB
- Item Weight: 3.74 pounds
- Color: 5 different colors
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Flash Drive, SSD, USB, & AUX
- Well-polished Android Marshmallow OS feels intuitive
- Steering keys can be utilized, letting you control it with the steering wheel
- The firmware is updated continuously for minimizing bugs
- Can support up to 1 TB of SSD storage, making it widely compatible
- The Wi-Fi adapter is a bit weak and slow
If you’re looking for the best double din head unit under 200, then ATOTO A6 should be one of your best choices. You know why? Because of its rich features. You won’t find any other double din head units like this one coming under $200.
It comes with a 7-inch touch screen that’s ultra-responsive. What makes it more intuitive and fun to use is the stable Android Marshmallow OS. The version installed in this device is more polished for making it suitable for a head unit.
If your car’s steering wheel comes with some buttons that can be assigned, then you will find joy in getting this car unit. It will let you enjoy some features without even having to lift your hand off of the wheel.
As it’s an Android device, you can install your favorite games here, and it’s easy to enjoy music and videos on it too. You will also be able to connect a gamepad to this, thanks to the Bluetooth connection.
The Bluetooth BT connection also supports internet connectivity, which is another plus. In addition to that, this head unit can support up to 1 TB of SSD, allowing you to carry your favorite movie stash right in your car!
2. P.L.Z MP-800 7 Inch Touchscreen Car Stereo
- Brand: P.L.Z
- DIN Type: Double DIN
- Watts: 240
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB and AUX
- Features: Smartphone compatibility, great sound, large touchscreen and Instant awake
- The large touchscreen is a joy to use
- Quickly connects with smartphones for a more modern experience
- Supports cameras that make driving safer
- The screen instantly awakes which saves you some time
- Double DIN might not fit all cars.
It’s not every day you find a Multimedia system with an HD touchscreen, GPS navigation, and a camera for monitoring the rear of the car too.
Let’s talk about the screen first. It comes with touch features and some buttons, and together these make the user experience much better. Featuring an IPS display, it’s the best car stereo under 150 with the most beautiful display.
It also comes with a built-in Wi-Fi receiver, allowing you to connect it to the internet or other mobile devices easily. The GPS receiver will help you locate and track things in real-time, so you will find your way easier than ever.
This system isn’t built for great display only, but it also offers excellent value in terms of security too. The rear-view camera can measure distance accurately to make parking effortless, and it can also determine the distance of the cars in view.
If your vehicle supports a double din stereo unit, then it’ll be compatible with the AN-500 too. The size of this isn’t any larger than that of regular double dins.
As for the system, it comes with a quad-core A7 processor that clocks at 1600MHz, 16GB DDR3 ram, and a 16GB flash drive. If you want something faster, you can plug your SSD into it. The system is well-equipped to handle any media, including games downloaded from Google Play Store.
3. BOSS BVNV9384RC Double Din Stereo Receiver
Best for GPS Tracking
- Display Size: 6.2 Inch LCD Touchscreen
- Item Weight: 5.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.2 x 6.5 x 4 inches
- Power Output: 320 watts
- Warranty: 3 Years
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Flash Drive, USB, &
- Built-in navigation features that can be accessed quickly and are very accurate
- AUX and AV input for better compatibility
- Pre-amp output lets you enhance the audio quality
- The built-in EQ helps curate the sound to your preferences
- You will have to purchase the preamp separately
Boss Audio Systems is known for providing top-of-the-rack audio solutions coupled with great convenience and security features. This stereo system comes with a rear camera as well as navigation features. The rear camera will help you determine the distance between the car and the objects behind it.
You will instantly fall in love with the sound quality of this unit. It comes with an RDS tuner that can improve your radio experience to a great extent. In addition to offering essential outputs such as video, front, and rear, it also comes with a sub preamp output.
If you want to crank the audio quality to the maximum, we highly recommend getting a preamp for enhancing the sound clarity and volume to a great extent.
Plus, it also comes with a built-in EQ that’ll let you tweak the bass, treble, balance, and even the fader. This detailed EQ is an excellent tool for enhancing your listening experience.
This unit will let you connect your USB devices to it, and you will also be able to assign controls to the steering wheel buttons if your car has any.
The Bluetooth connectivity on this device allows hands-free calls, control your music, enjoy music on apps such as Spotify and Pandora.
4. BOSS Audio Systems BV9358B
Best for Convenience
- Display Size: 6.2 Inch LCD screen
- Dimensions: 7 x 6.5 x 3.9 inches
- Item weight: 4.15 pounds
- Power Output: 320 watts
- Warranty: 3 Years
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Flash Drive, USB, & AUX
- Two outputs for connecting to two preamps
- Built-in preset equalizer help you choose an EQ easily for the music you like
- Comes with a wireless remote control that makes controlling much easier
- You can switch the tuner frequency to UK and US for better compatibility
- Doesn't support flash drives over 32GB
As we’ve discussed previously, Boss makes impressive audio systems crafted especially for providing outstanding audio quality. Now, we’ll take a look at the Boss Audio Systems BV9358B. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity for allowing hands-free calling and speaker connectivity while paired to a Smartphone.
Plus, the Bluetooth connectivity will also let you stream audio via Bluetooth. With the help of apps such as Spotify and Pandora, you can take your listening experience to the next level.
It comes with USB ports that support flash drives up to 32GB. Although that is lower than many other devices, this one will let you carry enough music with you. Plus, the USB 1-A port will let you charge your mobile devices using the stereo.
You will get two preamp outputs that’ll let you connect to two pre-amps of your choice. Furthermore, you can use a DAC and AMP combination to take your listening experience to a whole new level.
The touchscreen built into this is very intuitive and responsive. You won’t find yourself lost or poking at the screen for minutes for it to respond, and we love that about this unit.
5. Pioneer AVH-210EX 6.2 Inch Car Stereo Receiver
- Display Size: 6.2-inch LCD screen
- Dimensions: 10 x 6.5 x 11 inches
- Item weight: 1.81 Pounds
- Colors: 5 display colors
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, & AUX
- Offers one of the highest value for money right now
- Compatible with most Android and iOS devices for easier access
- Couples both touchscreen and buttons for smoother user-experience
- Supports hands-free calling, so you won't have to pick your phone up even
- The installation procedure is far from being easy
Pioneer AVH-210EX is a widely compatible head unit, as it supports both Android and iPhone devices. It’s a relatively small unit, and it’s a lot cheaper than most of the other products on this list. Still, it features all you need for a good experience, and we love how much value this unit offers for the price.
The display isn’t much. It comes with 5 display colors and 112 key colors. It’s pretty easy to use, but not as easy as the products reviewed before this one. You would notice that it doesn’t run on Android OS but comes with a proprietary OS from the manufacturers.
Although this might be a bummer for many, what makes it better is that it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. So, you can expect wide compatibility with this one, making it suitable for people who own both Android and iOS devices.
It doesn’t come with a backup camera, but you can connect one to it. You will also get a rear USB input and an AUX input.
With the help of the Bluetooth system built into this, you will be able to enjoy a hands-free calling and music streaming experience. You can pair your smartphone with it efficiently and stream any music downloaded into your phone or use apps like Spotify.
6. Pioneer MVH210EX Double DIN Head Unit
Best for Outlook Customization
- Display: 6.2 inch Touch Screen
- Dimensions: 11 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches
- Item Weight: 3.17 Pounds
- Number of Channels: 4
- Output Power: 50 Watts
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, AUX Input, & USB
- Helps you connect to USB drives, Bluetooth devices, as well as mp3 players
- The 13-band equalizer offers better audio tweaking than most other devices
- Can change the color of the dashboard for blending it with the car interior
- The WVGA touchscreen is clear-resistive and offers a high-definition display
- The shuffle mode doesn't work when you're playing via a USB flash drive
The Pioneer MVH210EX is an amazing product. This unit offers convenience with a blend of touchscreen and button controls. Unlike most head units, the buttons on this aren’t loose and don’t feel fiddly so that you can get satisfaction from every click.
One unique feature of this unit is the light on the dashboard can be customized. You can choose from red, green, and blue colors for the buttons, allowing you to blend the head unit with the rest of the car’s aesthetic.
It also offers a lot in terms of music too. This unit comes with a 13-band equalizer, which is a massive upgrade over the regular cheap head units that let you tune the bass, treble, and mids only. This will help you adjust the sound quality precisely. If you hook it onto a preamp, the clarity will blow the roof.
You will get many options for connectivity as well. This allows you to connect any mp3 player to it with the help of the AUX cable. You can also connect your Bluetooth mobile devices with this for lag-free audio streaming.
Plus, the USB flash drives will let you carry thousands of tracks in your car all day.
7. Pioneer DMH-100BT Double DIN Car Stereo
Best Overall for Rear Camera
- Screen: 6.2" touchscreen display
- Connectivity: Bluetooth and USB
- Input: AUX and USB
- Output Wattage: 50 Peak Watts
- DIN Size: Double DIN
- Weight: 16 ounces
- Dimensions: 9.6 x 6 x 10.8 inches
- A high-quality backup camera that gives you good picture quality
- Good build quality which should last you for a long time
- Large resistive touchscreen that’s makes navigation easy
- Great sound for an enjoyable music listening experience
- Intuitive controls that make controlling it seamless
- The responsive user interface is fast and user-friendly
- Double-DIN might not fit all cars
- Slightly weak Bluetooth reception
Next up, we have the third and last head unit from Pioneer, and this one’s the 6.2″ display double din unit. Like the previous one, this one also comes with a clear-resistive WVGA touchscreen lit by an LED backlight.
This model, too, offers a good blend between the touchscreen and the built-in buttons on the dashboard. However, this is a bit of a downgrade from the MVH210EX. For example, this one comes with only one light color for illuminating the dashboard, which is blue. You can customize the wallpaper, though.
Then again, compared to the 13-band EQ, you will be getting a 7-band EQ only from this one. Although that seems a considerable downgrade compared to the MVH210EX, it’s far better than what most other stereo units would provide. The 7-band EQ is good enough for most people, so you will be OK with it.
It’s a mecha-less unit, so it should be pretty easy to install than some other options on the market, making it a wonderful choice for DIY-ers. It also allows you to connect any camera to it, making it convenient for those who want a rear-view camera or already have one.
8. Corehan 7 inch Android Car Stereo
Best for Media Consumption
- Display Size: 7 Inch LCD Screen
- Dimensions: 4.7 x 7 x 4 inches
- Item Weight: 2 Ounces
- Memory Storage: 16 GB
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Flash Drive, USB, AUX
- Android 10 OS is very stable and well-crafted for car stereo
- Built-in GPS module and antenna can track your location accurately
- Lets you enjoy all the apps on Google Play Store
- Can enjoy hands-free call by connecting it with a mobile device
- Struggles to run two apps simultaneously with only 1GB ram
To those looking for the best touch screen car stereo under 200 that also comes with Android OS, this model can be a great choice. This stereo is built based on the Android 10 OS, known as one of the most stable operating systems for car stereos.
Due to the fantastic operating system, you can enjoy all the apps from Google Play Store, including the impressive Google Map. You can use all the modern features Google Map provides for taking your navigation to the next level. It also has a built-in GPS with an external GPS antenna for providing superior accuracy.
The best part about its GPS is that you can use it even when you’re offline. It also offers a built-in Bluetooth function. You can connect any Bluetooth mobile device to this effortlessly and reap the benefits that come with it.
For example, if you connect your device to this through Bluetooth, you can stream audio without lag. You can either stream what’s on your device or use apps like Spotify, making things even better for you.
Then again, you will be able to enjoy hands-free calls, so you won’t have to pick the phone even.
9. Kenwood KMM-BT322 Car Media Player
Best Analog Media Player
- Type: Single Din
- Dimensions: 8.8 x 7.6 x 3.9 inches
- Item Weight: 2 Pounds
- Audio Capability: 8 EQ curves and 13-band equalizer
- Outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, & AUX
- Much more affordable than the stereo units with a digital interface
- Doesn't weigh much at all
- Offers a lot of features that are designed for better connectivity
- Let's you enjoy a hands-free calling experience
- Connecting a new device to Bluetooth is very complicated
The Kenwood KMM-BT322 is the best car stereo under 200 for those who are looking for a single din option with this budget. It comes with a stereo receiver for streaming your favorite music and offers greater connectivity. You can effortlessly connect your phone or any regular mp3 player to it using the AUX jack on the front.
The AUX jack will let you enjoy the music at a higher fidelity compared to the Bluetooth connection. However, if Bluetooth connectivity is what you prefer, then you can do that too. The built-in Bluetooth module will help you connect your mobile devices to this stereo easily.
It also comes with a USB interface for connecting compatible mobile devices. Furthermore, it also charges your phone while it’s connected through the USB port.
This device doesn’t come with a digital display like many other stereo units on the present market but offers an analog display. Although it’s not a smart unit, it will still allow you to download apps that will let you control the device using your Android or iOS mobile devices.
The dashboard of this unit comes with buttons and dials. You will get dedicated buttons for seeking available radio frequencies and for selecting the frequency band. A dial on the left of the unit will let you control the volume and fine-tune the radio frequency to provide the perfect experience.
There’s a button on the upper-left corner of the dial that will let you receive calls coming to your phone without any trouble.
10. Kenwood DDX25BT 2-Din Bluetooth Receiver
Best for Smaller Cars
- Display: 6.2 Inch Screen
- Dimensions: 9.45 x 7.09 x 4.33 inches
- Weight: 2.2 Pounds
- Output: Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels
- RMS: 22 watts x 4 channels
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Flash Drive, USB, & AUX
- The built-in Bluetooth technology enables hands-free talking
- Compatible with iPhone over iPhone 6 models and with at least iOS 8
- The four channels let you connect to four speakers simultaneously
- The blend of touchscreen and buttons is very intuitive
- Doesn't come with a connector for a preamp
Finally, we have the Kenwood DDX25BT. This one’s from the same company as before, but unlike the previous one, this one’s a modern stereo unit. This double din in-dash monitor comes with a 6.2″ wide color LCD with an LED backlight. So, no matter how well-lit the car is, you will be able to enjoy the screen properly.
The built-in Bluetooth technology will let you enjoy hands-free calling and allow you to stream audio directly to the speakers. Furthermore, you will get to stream the music stored on your device or use audio streaming services like Spotify and Pandora.
This one supports most Android devices. However, if you’re an iOS user, you will need at least iOS 8 software. Plus, it’s not compatible with iPhones that are lower than the 6 or 6+ model.
For your convenience, the dashboard comes illuminated with white light. So, you will be able to find the right buttons for yourself even if it’s dark. As the lighting is white, it will blend in with any environment, despite the aesthetics inside the car.
It comes with four channels in total, so you will be able to connect to four speakers. This should be enough for most cars. However, we wish that it provided the scope for connecting to a preamp as well.
Note: If You ain’t afford to get your desired one within this price range you can also check this article where you find some quality stereos that are priced under $100.
What To Look for Before Buying
Getting a car stereo isn’t as easy as it seems. You need to consider many factors before picking the right one for yourself, and making even the slightest mistake can cost you a lot in such cases.
A stereo system can either be a complete system that allows you to enjoy media in all forms or a tin can that requires tons of aftermarket add-ons for functioning properly.
This section will go over the factors you will need to consider to make sure that you get the right car stereo for yourself.
Single-Din or Double-Din?
If you’re new to this, these terms may sound new to you. Let’s break it down for you. Essentially, there are two types of car stereo units. The single-din units are those that are smaller and much more flexible. They offer more value in terms of compatibility. You will be able to use these units on both old and new vehicles.
On the other hand, there are double-din stereo systems. The double-din systems are bigger, more advanced, and offer much more features. However, you won’t be able to fit them in many older car models, and you will need to be picky when it comes to newer vehicles.
In addition, If you are still stuck in Single-Din vs Double-Din confusion, Check our in depth guide on this.
There are two types of consumers: those who like to spend time and effort behind the installation and those who want things to be easy and convenient.
Generally speaking, most of the hard-to-install units will provide better features. If you want devices that provide both convenience and features, you will have to spend a lot of money.
Then again, there are smaller and less feature-rich units that you can plug and play with minimum effort.
Radio is one of the most essential and necessary features you need to look for in a car stereo.
Although radio has become more or less obsolete in the last few years, they are still surviving, thanks to car stereos. And trust me, nothing is more relaxing than turning on the radio and listening to a random track, a podcast, or the news.
As for the features, we recommend getting a stereo with a dial that will let you tune to different frequencies. If you’re using any satellite radio subscription, we recommend getting a compatible device.
Bluetooth is yet another vital feature that can make your life a lot easier. A car stereo with Bluetooth connectivity can make everything easier by letting you connect your mobile devices directly to the stereo.
USB ports allow the user to connect their mobile devices to the car stereo. Plus, some stereos come with charging capability, and you will be able to charge your smartphones using them, making them highly convenient.
If you’re really into music, then having an equalizer is a must. Most of the double-din car stereos come with equalizers, and these are great for curating the sound to your liking quickly.
Having a quality interface can help you browse through the features of your car stereo effortlessly. You can find two types of interfaces mainly. There are button interfaces, and there are touch interfaces.
The button interfaces are a bit tougher to use, while touch interfaces are much easier. They come at a higher cost than the button interfaces, but they are very intuitive. This is why we highly recommend going for the touch interfaces if you can spare the extra cash.
If you want high-quality sound output from your car speakers, then we recommend getting a car stereo that comes with a built-in amplifier. Amplifiers can enhance the signal coming from the source device, enhancing the clarity and details of the sound in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are double-din units a viable upgrade over quality single-din units?
Ans: If you already have a single-din unit that’s providing great audio details, then a double-din unit won’t make audio any better for you. However, they can provide great convenience features over the single-din units, making them worth the upgrade.
Q. Do double-din units allow you to make phone calls?
Ans: Yes, most of the double-din units out there will let you make hands-free phone calls unless you have a very outdated model.
Q. Are double-din units under $200 worth buying?
Ans: Yes, there are a lot of double-din units under $200 that are completely worth buying. While not all devices under $200 offer advanced features like a touch screen, many do. We recommend getting them because you will be getting more value for your money from them.
Q. Is it easy to install car stereos?
Ans: It depends on the product entirely. Single-din car stereos are usually easier to install, while installing double-din stereos is harder. However, there are some expensive choices among double-din stereos that can be installed without a sweat.
Q. Can you install a touchscreen on an older Stereo?
Ans: Yes, but you will need to charge it separately, and you will also need enough space on your dashboard.
These are the top stereos that you can choose from now. As you can see, all of these products come with some sort of speciality, so the choice of the best car stereo under 200 comes down to your requirements and preferences.