Articles & Videos: Car Stereos

Car audio for the first-time buyer
by Charlie Pastorfield

Buying car audio gear for the first time? Here are some tips to help you find the right stereo equipment for your car or truck.

Kenwood's KDC-255U CD receiver delivers solid performance and plenty of features at a pretty nice price.You get variable color illumination for the buttons so you can set the color to match your dash lighting perfectly. The front USB port allows you to control the music on your iPhone&#reg; or Android&#trade; phone too. Check it out in this demo video.

Pioneer loaded their DEH-X8500BS CD receiver with plenty of great features, like built-in Bluetooth® and Pandora® Internet radio control. It also gives you the option of adding a SiriusXM tuner — so you'll always be in touch with your favorite team, breaking news, or a wide variety of commercial-free music channels. Take a closer look in this display and controls demo video.

Whatever you look for in a CD receiver, you'll probably find it in Pioneer's DEH-X8500BH. It's got plenty of media options, sharp styling, a great-looking display, plus plenty of power and expansion options. And Pioneer also built Bluetooth® and HD Radio™ into this receiver. Check it out in this demo video.

The MEX-BT4100P CD receiver offers built-in Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming, plus Sony's App Remote feature — it displays your smartphone apps along with your audio sources, so you can launch apps with the receiver's controls. Even cooler, you can use your Smartphone as a remote control, choosing sources, changing radio stations, and viewing song and artist info. Take a look at this Sony in our display and controls demo video.

Rich H's 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe
by Dominic Devito

Rich H's 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe was in need of a sonic upgrade after he determined its factory Monsoon system wasn't up to par. He added a new JVC double-din receiver and some component speakers from Crutchfield, as well as some speakers, an amp, and a powered sub from his personal collection.

If you're looking to upgrade the sound in your car without shelling out serious cash, take a good look at this striking JVC. The KD-R330 CD receiver is perfect for a teenager's first car, for a family's second car, or any car with a factory radio that's on its last legs. Check it out in this display and controls demo video.

Not only does the Alpine ICS-X7HD connect to your iPhone or Android phone to take advantage of apps you've loaded, it also comes with built-in Bluetooth that lets you make hands-free calls and stream music wirelessly.

If you've got an iPhone®, you know that the music you've stored on it is only part of the story — streaming apps let you tune into a plethora of music and other programs. Alpine's CDE-141 CD receiver features App Direct Mode, giving you access to select music apps, so you can tune in and enjoy this content. Add some comprehensive sound controls, plus iPod® controls and you've got a great addition to your car. Take a look in this demo video.

Sony's smart-looking MEX-GS600BT CD receiver offers built-in Bluetooth®, variable color display, and plenty of cool audio controls. And its App Remote feature turns smartphone interactivity into a two-way street. With your phone's touchscreen, you can do things like selecting sources, picking radio stations, and launching apps. On the other side of the App Remote's two-way street, you can select apps using the stereo's source button, the same way you'd choose the CD player or radio as your s

Waldo M's 1997 BMW Z3 Roadster
by Dominic Devito

Waldo M. from Centreville, GA, wanted to outfit his 1997 BMW Z3 Roadster 2.8 with a stereo to replace his tired one. He added the JVC KD-R730BT CD receiver for Bluetooth, iPod control, and better sound.

Pioneer designed the DEH-X9500BHS CD receiver with all the convenient features you want in a modern car stereo: Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and audio streaming, an HD Radio™ tuner for improved AM/FM, Pandora® Internet radio control, and dual USB inputs. You'll also find sophisticated sound controls and a variable-color display, along with the crowd-pleasing MIXTRAX feature, in this impressive car stereo. Take a look at it in action in this demo video.

Not only does the Alpine ICS-X7HD connect to your iPhone or Android phone to take advantage of apps you've loaded, it also comes with built-in Bluetooth that lets you make hands-free calls and stream music wirelessly.

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X397 CD receiver will expand your sonic boundaries with a nice blend of audio features and sophisticated styling. Thanks to its selectable color feature, you can pick a button color that matches your vehicle's illumination so the receiver will look perfect in your dash. Check it out in this demo video.

The first thing you'll notice about Kenwood's KDC-355U CD receiver is its looks. The controls are well laid out, the display is easy to read, and the eye-catching variable color illumination lets you adjust the button color to match your dash. Take a look at it in action in this demo video.

Kenwood's Excelon KDC-X497 CD receiver features a built-in HD Radio™ tuner, plus controls for your iPhone® or iPod®. Kenwood's Music Control App also lets you plug in your Android via the front-panel USB input. Take a look at this stylish car stereo in this short demo video.

Kenwood's Excelon KDC-X597 CD receiver has built-in Bluetooth® hands-free calling and audio streaming. And this sharp-looking car stereo sports variable color illumination for the buttons and controls, so you can match it up to your car. It'll control your iPod® or iPhone® and you can play music from your Android™ via the USB when you use Kenwood's Music Control app. Take a closer look in this Crutchfield demo video.

Kenwood's KDC-BT555U CD receiver gives you more choices in streaming music. Once you plug your iPhone® into the front USB input or connect your Android™ or Blackberry via Bluetooth®, you'll enjoy easy access to the musical resources of Pandora® Internet radio and iHeart Radio. You'll also be able to tap into Aha Radio, with its personalized on-demand stations that run the gamut from news to talk to music. Check out this car stereo in this display and controls demo video.

Pandora® is one of the most popular streaming music sources around, and JVC's KD-R540 CD receiver makes it easy to tune in. Connect your iPhone® to this JVC's USB input, and you'll be able to access your favorite stations through the receiver's controls. You'll enjoy quick access to all your stations and you'll be able to check out song, artist, and album information on the receiver's screen while you're listening.That's not all this versatile car stereo can do — check it out in th

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