The advantages of having a touchscreen receiver in your car

Safety and convenience at your fingertips


Dominic Devito

Dominic J. DeVito has been a member of the Crutchfield A/V writing squad since 2006. He was born and raised in Staunton, Virginia, and attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a degree in chemical engineering. During that time he developed a passionate obsession with experiencing music, both live and recorded, which he parlayed into a 15-year stint in record retail (much to the chagrin of his very patient parents) and a long-running tenure as a rock DJ at WTJU. His expositions can be found in back issues of Plan 9's 9X Magazine as well as Schools That Rock: The Rolling Stone College Guide. He's been to more concerts than he can remember.

More from Dominic Devito

Bigfoot caught on the Kenwood Excelon DNX9990HD

We caught Bigfoot on our Kenwood Excelon navigation receiver, with the help of the Alpine HCE-C305R rear-view camera.

Why put a large-screen receiver in your dash? Fantastic looks are a great starting point, but there’s so much more you can get from a double-sized stereo. You can see all the information you need at a single glance, making it easier to keep your eyes on the road. You’ll also have expansion options like navigation and a rear-view camera available to you in the future.

Add a rear-view camera for safety

A rear-view camera can help make your double-sized stereo a valuable tool against accidents, because you never know what you’ll see behind you — a pet, a tricycle rider, or even Bigfoot (he’s really shy). Its wide field of view offers a whole lot more of what’s behind you than using your mirror, and you won’t have to turn your head.

Alpine HCE-305R rear-view camera

Alpine HCE-C305R rear-view camera

Get alerts for sudden dangers

Alpine’s HCE-C305R camera with Active View offers an added degree of safety over ordinary cameras: alerts for moving objects behind and to the sides of your vehicle. You’ll see the items outlined and tracked as they move across your screen, and hear audible alerts that increase in frequency as threats get closer to your vehicle. Four different viewing modes ensure you’ll have all the angles covered. Plus, it's a universal fit—it works with any brand of aftermarket receiver with a camera input.

Nice big display

With a large screen acting as your receiver's display, it's a whole lot easier to read than the 2- or 3-line displays of typical car receivers. You'll enjoy being able to read more information about what you're listening to. Bigger icons, split-screen capability, and more screen real estate add up to a satisfying car audio experience. You'll be able to keep your eyes on the road a whole lot better if you're not squinting at your display, or waiting for the info to scroll by. In fact, everything you do with your receiver is easier when you have a large, touchscreen interface. Here are some examples of how these receivers can make your drive much easier.

Kenwood Excelon DNX9990 Bluetooth

Bluetooth® usability

Bluetooth lets you enjoy hands-free conversation using your compatible phone. You’ll be able to see caller information instantly with a big screen in your dash, so you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Some receivers also allow audio streaming from phones.

Kenwood Excelon DNX9990 Navigation

GPS navigation

Get a better map view than phones or most portable navigators can deliver. And if your receiver doesn’t feature built-in navigation, you might be able to add guidance with an outboard unit, or connect to an iPhone app like MotionX-GPS Drive that works over 3G signals.

Kenwood Excelon DNX9990HD HD Radio

User-friendly HD Radio™

HD Radio broadcasts sound great, and a double-sized receiver provides way more info than a regular stereo. You’ll see album art and station logos from select broadcasters, plus song, artist and album info. And you can tag songs for later purchase from iTunes® right on the radio.

Kenwood Excelon DNX9990HD controls

Convenient control

One of the main advantages of any big-screen receiver is the ease of going through the menus. Whether you’re looking for a song on your iPod, a favorite satellite radio station, or the EQ settings, a big, colorful touchscreen makes finding functions intuitive and simple.

Dual-zone listening

If you're toting your family around, the "dual-zone" capability that some receivers offer lets you separate the rear-seat entertainment from the front. Your backseat passengers can listen to their tunes or watch movies on a second monitor, while you listen to the ballgame up front.

Worth a look

When you're shopping for a car stereo, consider the benefits of getting a touchscreen, navigation receiver. And if you don't need built-in navigation, DVD receivers are a less-expensive option. Either way, both types tend to have the best features, and the elegance of touchscreen control makes them easy and fun to use.

Use our handy vehicle selector tool to see which stereos will fit your vehicle.

  • Craig from MN

    Posted on 7/5/2015 6:46:55 PM

    The double DIN DVD receiver that was in my car when I bought it was nice as long as I didn't listen to satellite radio. Every time I switched to the AUX input the screen would go black and display a message telling me that I couldn't watch videos while the car was in gear. I couldn't get anything else, and the company that makes it told me it was a safety feature to keep me from killing myself watching videos instead of traffic. They told me that the backup camera plugged into the AUX input and there was nothing I could do about it. I could still listen to Sirius, but it wouldn't tell me what I was listening to. I no longer have that receiver. If you're buying one of these, you may want to check on this.

  • Angel Castro from New York

    Posted on 7/21/2015 9:00:19 PM

    I need something like this for my 2004 ml350

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/22/2015 8:47:39 AM

    Angel, there are only a few touchscreen receivers that will fit your vehicle. You can use our vehicle selector to confirm which stereos fit your car, or give us a call of 1.888.955.6000

  • Wayne Prather from Vallejo, CA

    Posted on 7/22/2015 3:06:28 PM

    I need a Head unit with all the features. I just returned a unit which there was almost no info and support from the busines. Do you have eniugh info on the 2015 Entune Audio unit from Toyota? I have: AM/FM- CD/DVD-STEERING WHEEL-BLUE TOOTH-R-CAMERA-USB/AUX. I NEED NAVIGATION AND IF WIFI WAS IN IT IT WOULD BE OK. I will be instaling this myself, I just need good instructions.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/22/2015 3:48:27 PM

    Wayne, we have researched a good number of Toyota's 2015 vehicles, but not all. Give us a call at 1.888.955.6000 or enter your vehicle information in our vehicle selector. If you purchase a receiver from us, you'll receive instructions on how to install it if we have researched your car, you'll receive free lifetime Tech Support to help you with your installation, and you'll receive a deep discount on any related factory integration gear.

  • Bill Hoover from Phx.

    Posted on 8/15/2015 6:34:05 PM

    How much does a pioneer car stereo model #AVH-271BT cost?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/17/2015 9:02:31 AM

    Bill, we carry the comparable Pioneer AVH-270BT DVD receiver.

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