Articles & Videos: Car Stereos

Many receivers promise Android compatibility, but how many features you can access depends on your phone. We got hands-on with three touchscreens to get some answers. While we didn't find a one-size-fits-all solution, the hunt for the perfect fit proved more rewarding.

Improving her drive time
by Dave Delamere

As a busy working mom, Mendy's only alone time is when she's driving. When she'd had enough of the factory radio in her 2001 Toyota 4Runner, she turned to Crutchfield for help. She replaces her old factory radio with a new Pioneer DVD receiver.

Ditching the discs and going digital doesn't have to break the bank. Sony's DSX-A40UI digital media receiver offers an impressive list of features for its price range, along with USB and aux connections for your devices. Check it out in this demo video.

A tale of two Mustangs
by Jon Paulette

A stock Ford Mustang is a beautiful thing, but for many owners, a stock model is just a starting point. A Mustang can always be made to go faster, look wilder, or, of course, sound better. Whether you own a classic or a contemporary model, we can help you build a stereo that's as legendary as the car you drive.

Kenwood's KDC-358U CD receiver will impress you with its looks. It boasts a bright 13-digit display, logical controls, variable color illumination, and a CD slot cover for a sleek appearance in your dash. But this budget-friendly car stereo isn't just about appearance. Check out some of its moves in this demo video.

Mike S's 2006 Ford Mustang
by Robert Ferency-Viars

Mike's Mustang stands out on the local car show circuit, and it's not just because of the color! He dressed up the trunk with custom video monitors and a JBL amp and subwoofer, and commands the show with a fully loaded Pioneer stereo.

Bill W. from Upland, CA, loves classic cars. His 1964 Plymouth Belvedere was due for a stereo upgrade, so he chose a RetroSound Model One stereo to replace his old cassette deck, so now he can enjoy his favorite music from a thumb drive or MP3 player.

The HDMI input in certain Kenwood receivers lets you view your phone's screen right in your dash, and even control certain apps from Kenwood's touchscreen.

When you're looking at a good-sized receiver nestled in an expansive dashboard, it's only natural to assume that a touchscreen DVD/nav receiver will fit right in. Alas, that's not always the case.

JVC's 2014 digital media receivers are great for everyone who uses their smartphone as their main source of music. These receivers don't play CDs, but they work great with popular music apps.

Kenwood designed their KDC-BT858U CD receiver to be a simple, elegant control center for entertainment in your vehicle. A multi-function control knob and a few buttons give you quick access to this receiver's long list of features, including hands-free calling, music streaming, Internet radio access, and more. Take a closer look in this demo video.

JVC's KD-AR959BS CD receiver lets you customize the illumination color in three different areas of the faceplate for any combinations you can think of. Combine that with super-clean CD playback, a USB input for charging devices and playing your music files, and Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming, and you've got a complete entertainment console for your car. Check out some of the features in this demo video.

Bluetooth compatibility has become a top priority for shoppers when deciding on a new car receiver. We tested six receivers in the Crutchfield Labs to find out which ones made the most of this convenient technology.

Vincent D. from Fallston, MD, did a simple head unit replacement for his 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee's factory stereo to add Bluetooth connectivity and HD Radio reception. He installed his Kenwood KDC-BT758HD receiver in about an hour.

Choose a source, choose a display color, choose an app - the JVC KW-R910BT gives you all the entertainment options you expect, and more. The symmetrical design looks terrific, while a host of connectivity features make this CD receiver an outstanding travel companion. Take a look at it in action in this demo video.

Pioneer has created a dynamic addition to your dash with their FH-X720BT CD receiver. You can choose from over 210,000 colors with 10 brightness levels to match the Pioneer's display to your vehicle's dash illumination, or you can set separate colors for controls and display to create the look that makes you happy. Add in Bluetooth® and Pandora® control and you've got a lot to like. Take a look in this demo video.

Bluetooth provides some great connectivity options, and Pioneer's DEH-X4700BT CD receiver offers a great way to add them to your vehicle. And once you connect your iPod® or iPhone® to the front-panel USB input, you'll be able to access your playlists from the receiver's controls. You'll also enjoy control over your favorite Pandora® stations with your iPhone or Android™. Take a look at the DEH-X4700BT in this demo video.

Gettin' the jams in a Ram
by Dave Delamere

Gary was tired of weak sound and extra wires on his dash, so he installed a new Kenwood receiver and Kenwood speakers in his 2001 Dodge Ram.

Find what fits your car