Soundstream SHDM-103

Universal 10.3" high-resolution video headrest monitor

Item #: 530SHDM103

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13 Reviews

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Picture quality that will keep their attention

Your backseat riders won't ever get bored again on long trips after they start watching a show on this eye-popping video display. Soundstream's SHDM-103 10.3-inch LCD headrest monitor offers a high-resolution picture (1,024 by 600 pixels), providing crystal-clear imagery that reveals much more detail than a standard-definition monitor.

Play the content from your phone

Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) technology allows this monitor to play digital content from your smartphone, whether it's stored or streaming from your provider. For instance, you can watch the latest from your Netflix account when you're connected, or just listen to your playlist while the album artwork and info displays. Once your phone is connected with the correct MHL interconnect cable, this Soundstream monitor will display anything that you can play on your mobile device.

Soundstream SHDM-103 connection panel

SHDM-103 connection panel

Digital video input

The SHDM-103's MHL interface uses HDMI and USB plugs, along with some new technology, to send crystal-clear uncompressed digital video and audio through a single cable to deliver truly outstanding pictures and sound. Soundstream's optional MHL cable also charges the battery of your portable device, so it's always ready to rock. You're not just limited to your phone or tablet for input, either. You can play movies, music, or show photos from your standard non-MHL-capable devices through the SHDM-103's USB, HDMI, and auxiliary inputs.

More features

The SHDM-103 comes with three changeable color "skins" — beige, gray, and black — so you can match your headrest to your vehicle's interior. The mounting poles adjust to fit most vehicles, and Soundstream includes extra adapters that allow this headrest monitor to fit in even more vehicles. A built-in FM transmitter can send the signal to the car radio so everyone can hear. For private listening, you can plug into the headphone jack or use a compatible set of wireless headphones connected by way of this monitor's dual-channel infrared transmitter.

Important Note: This replacement headrest is not for use with the active headrest system found in some vehicles. Replacing such a headrest system could increase the chances of injury, in the event of an accident, and may void your vehicle's warranty.

Product Highlights:

  • single headrest with built-in 10.3" LCD screen (no built-in DVD player)
  • 16:9 widescreen with 1,024 by 600 picture resolution (614.4K pixels)
  • Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) technology enables HD content to be delivered from your mobile device through an MHL/HDMI cable
  • USB and HDMI inputs
  • auxiliary A/V inputs and outputs
  • FM transmitter for OEM integration
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack and dual-channel wireless infrared headphone transmitter (headphones not included)
  • compatible with Soundstream VHP-12 wireless headphones
  • wireless remote control
  • 3 changeable color skins included (beige, gray, black)
  • headrest tilts for better viewing
  • 4.75" to 8.25" pole width adjustment
  • 3/8" poles with 1/2" and 9/16" adapters
  • headrest complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Soundstream SHDM-103 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

13 reviews
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Written By PatS, New Jersey on Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sharp looking, clean design and easy to install. This headrest monitor was very easy to install and configure with its universal design. Adjustable posts mount to just about any seat back. The three color skins that it comes with match very well to almost any interior; and were a breeze to change. Picture is sharp and bright too.

Pros: Easy to install, one wire connectivity, multiple input feeds, universal with color options right out of the box.

Cons: From what I can tell the unit is not auto sensing for powering itself up and down when a video feed is present.

Awesome Screen w/ Minor Issues

Written By AndrettiDog, Vail, Colorado on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

We bought the screen to go with our new DDX371 Kenwood deck. The install was one of the problems I ran into. I had to take the seat out to get the cable to run down the back so the install was clean. Pretty simple after that. I wanted the Kenwood deck to control the screen and I haven't figured that one out yet. My kid loves that screen and she watches several movies. It drives me nuts that video doesn't start where it left off. We are using MP4's and there is no track, so the movies have to start over and over. My kid probably doesn't care though. The remote was poorly designed. Several buttons that all blend in when most of the time you only need 3-4 of them. The remote doesn't work from the front seat anyway. The screen is gorgeous, works awesome in our winter conditions and the head rest blended in well with our vehicle. We use the Alpine wireless headphones and they work awesome! Great product once you figure out how you want to control it.

Pros: Awesome screen, great quality in the headrest covers, great functionality options, reasonable price, works well with Alpine wireless headphones

Cons: Tough install to do it clean, video always resets (no memory on where you are in movie),

Soundstream SHDM-103 Headrest

Written By Diondrae, Kansas City, KS on Saturday, January 24, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These monitors are what I expected. Big! Especially for a sedan. I love it! Go Big or Go Home (or don't turn them on)! The obvious, kids never say a word. They were excited about their Christmas gifts as I still am. The picture quality is quite alright given the small amount spent. Actually, exceptionally good! Even with the 3 out of 5 rating I dished out on this product, I'd recommend these to anyone.

Pros: Install was actually pretty simple in hindsight and Crutchfield was there to help every step of the way that I needed them. Anyone can do their own install with the help of Crutchfield and Crutchfield will have everything you need to execute an install like the professionals. Saving you a few Franklins! Awh, more pros! HDMI/MHL, USB, Infrared for wireless headphones, capability of using smart devices such as iPhone, Android, and Tablets definite +. Why I rated this product 3 of 5 stars is below?

Cons: The labor: I had to take out my driver and passenger seats to run headrest wires down each seat. That was prior to running wires through vehicle. The main reason I rated this product 3 out of 5 stars is this product does not have a DVD player. My daughter's have DVD movies only. The other reason a 3 of 5 star rating was given is due to the weak options for the Soundstream wireless headphones brand. The IR signal is very weak. Product can drain your battery if left on. Otherwise B+/A-product.


Written By JasonW, Horicon, WI on Sunday, January 19, 2014

The units seem to be built fairly well. However they are not bullet proof. They only work intermitently in cold weather. Since I live in Wisconsin this can be a problem. I bought these in september 2013 for a Christmas drive to Florida, I want to install them in nice weather. I used them several times and worked great. I needed to drive an hour for Thanksgiving dinner and the video screens would not work. Now they did work the day before. I double checked all wiring and everything looked good. A few days later it started again. I used it off and on until christmas morning and once we loaded up one of the screens did not work. Not how I wanted to start my 1200 mile trek. But again 500 miles and 20 degrees warmer and it started to work. When they work they are great, I know some complain about the resolution is not high enough but on a screen that size it is more than enough. My source is my head unit which works well but I wish it would have been cleaner. It was not bad but would be nice to be able to daisy chain the two units together especially if you are not using the central source. like if you want to put a thumbdrive in one and play it to both screens. Maybe this is possible but I have not figured that out yet. Overall pretty good price for the screensize. Glad I bought just wish it was more relieable. The headrest adapters were some what fragile but worked. Color wise I could see how they could stick out on a black interior but are fine with tan.

Pros: Screen size is great. Three headrest covers. $$$

Cons: Not good in cold weather.

Good but comes up short in the details

Written By Big Mo, Germany (APO) on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I ordered a pair of these for my wife's 2014 VW Tiguan. I planned on making my own skins to match my seats but the black covers have a pebble texture that you can't see in the photos and the sheen is only slightly off of the leather VW used so I will not need to replace them. The picture is great but there are no speakers. Another review said there is an FM transmitter but I can't find/figure it out and the owner's manual is as descriptive as a set of Ikea directions (useless).

The two biggest gripes I have are that to use it with my S3 or iPod I need to buy a special cable (different cable per device so that's one cable for my S3, one cable for my iPod -gen 4 touch- and one cable for my wife's iPhone 5). The cables are about $60.00 each (oh, and you need one per monitor because the monitors don't have video outputs to tether to the other monitor -hope the kids don't want to watch the same thing-).

The other issue I had was with the HDMI lettering on both of my monitors, it looks like someone took a soldering iron to it and melted off where it says HDMI. Crutchfield offered to send out two new monitors but I already had these installed before I noticed it and I don't feel like taking my seats back apart to change them again.

One more thing that was a minor annoyance is the tube adapters are made of white plastic and they stick out like a sore thumb, I had to spray paint them black (which is how they should have been made because they would blend well with any color).

Pros: Great product for what it's intended to be, I'd go for a smaller set next time these are kind of excessive (but the kids love it).

Cons: they got lazy/greedy on the details and the required cables are just pointless

Soundstream SHDM-103

Written By Arlen, MN on Monday, January 06, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This devices have a great picture no matter what video connection you use. Kids love them. Going to by some for my other car.

Pros: Covers are nice and match well. Screen is very clear. Easy to install Lots of options

Cons: Only HDMI on front panel They don't tilt far enough forward to support head in my truck.


Written By MIKE, USA on Saturday, September 21, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazing clarity for head rest monitors. Great buy.

Pros: clarity, size

Cons: price

Soundstream SHDM-103

Written By Holly, Williamsport ,pa on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Super wonderful for my kids I wished they drove me around so I could use /watch the monitors

Pros: Very high quality , very updated technology . Not just for watch DVDs

Sound stream SHDM

Written By ROB, STUTTGART, GE on Friday, August 30, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)


Pros: Large Screen

Works well with caveats

Written By GB, Blacksburg, VA on Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed this in a 2012 Subaru Outback with black leather interior. The black PVC cover included (there's a tan and a gray one also) matches. The headrest has a different shape than the OEM (much wider).

I tapped in the back of the cigarette lighter using two spade/blade connectors, which requires removing the center console and some soldering. I ran an RCA cable to the AUX input inside the console (this means, unfortunately, that the box holding the AUX input socket is no longer flush with the console - otherwise, a hole would be needed).

I needed to install a ground loop isolator to remove a pitching noise coming from the car's speakers. An alternative would have been to use the FM transmitter, which works great, too.

I originally tried to hook up my iPod5's video output to the AV2 input, and control what's played through the car's steering wheel controls. This didn't work for two reasons - the car software only looks for Music, not Video, on the iPod; and, second, my dock's S-Video to RCA converter didn't appear to work properly.

Instead, I bought a 32GB Pen Drive which fits in the USB slot and still allows the cover to be closed. The device plays .mp4 and .avi files with H.264 encoded video.

Our 2-year old likes it, and with it, driving 400 miles a day is no longer a problem, but a reward.

Pros: Plays .mp4 & .avi files; can be mostly concealed.

Cons: You can't operate the remote from the front because you can't see the screen. Does not remember where you were in a video when the ignition key is off. I think that would also be true if it were connected to an always-on power source. Boots a bit slow (5-6 seconds). Resolution limited to 1024x600 (no HD content).

Awesome Screens

Written By Anonymous, Warner Robins on Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I give these 4 stars only because of the limited video formats supported. I spent weeks ripping my DVD collection only to find out that the windows media format was incompatible. Otherwise the screens are awesome. The kids love them and it is already paying off on a long trip.

Pros: Screen size, resolution, HDMI, USB.

Cons: Does not support Windows media format.

Very Nice

Written By RyanW, Minneapolis, MN on Friday, August 02, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy set up and installation. The Screes are very big and nice for viewing, Picture quality is nice as well. Would buy again!! Only thing was I was a little confused as I needed grey headrests and when I pulled them out they were black, but after digging through the box they include a tan and grey colors for the headrest wraps, so if you need tan or grey, you will have to removed the black and put the other color on.

Also, just to help the install since they are so big, in order to get them in easilyl, tilt the seat back all the way. If you try to leave the seat up, I doubt there is enough room for them to slide in (and this was on a 2012 suburban...).

Pros: Nice picture, Large screen Easy setup

Cons: None

Soundstream headrest monitor

Written By Dale C, Bradley ME on Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Was kinda of skeptical at first about buying this because I never here'd of soundstream before. I needed somthing for my son for long trips! With crutchfield backing this product I thought I would give it a shot. I was blown away with how nice this unit was. Not cheep and cheesy like i thought it was going to be. Ipod/iphone hook up with just a single cable and the movies look great on this screen! with a 1080p LCD display and the ease of hooking it up. I am sure glad I gave it a shot. Ill be buying another to for the other side. Thank you Crutchfield for another nice product!

Pros: Awesome rear seat screen, great picture very easy to hook it up to indash DVD system. Very good build! Son loves it no more long boring rides for him!

Cons: None so far!

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Headrest monitor (black vinyl cover installed)
  • 2 Vinyl covers (Beige/Gray)
  • 24" Power/Signal cable
  • Remote control (CR2025 battery installed)
  • 8" AV minijack-to-RCA adapter
  • 6 Pipe adapters
  • 4 Screws
  • Operating Instructions
  • Owner's Registration Card

Product Research


Head Rest Mount: The Soundstream SHDM-103 features a padded vehicle headrest with a black vinyl cover. The black cover can be switched out for the included Grey and Beige vinyl covers. The headrest includes through-the-post wiring to make it easy to install the wire in your car seats. The headrest posts are approximately 6.5" in length, with adjustable spacing to accommodate your vehicle's headrest post opening (between approximately 5.0625" and 8.125"). The diameter of steel tubes are 10mm but can be adjusted between 12-14mm using the included post adapters. Once installed, the headrests can be tilted about 15° for the best viewing angle.

10.3" LCD Monitor: The Soundstream SHDM-103 features an integrated 10.3" widescreen LCD high-resolution monitor with LED backlight technology. The 10.3" widescreen monitor has a resolution of 1,024 x 600. You can select either a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio for each monitor. You can also adjust picture mode, color temperature, and noise reduction.

Dual AV Inputs: The Soundstream SHDM-103 is equipped with two AV inputs which will accept NTSC and PAL. The SHDM-103 is fitted with a front-panel 3.5mm AV input and comes with an AV 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter. The headrest monitor also features a rear-panel composite video/stereo RCA input. These AV inputs allow you to connect your portable MP3 player, DVD player, and/or game console.

HDMI & USB Port (MHL compatible): The Soundstream SHDM-103 is equipped with a front-panel HDMI input for connection of your mobile DVD player, Blu-ray player, or game console. The HDMI input can also be used in conjunction with the front-panel USB port to allow you to connect your Android smartphone, Galaxy S3, iPhone 4/4S, or iPhone 5 using one of Soundstream's MHL-to-HDMI cables (sold separately). The HDMI input will support up to 1080p video and 2ch PCM. By itself, the USB port supports connection of USB mass storage class devices (such as a thumbdrive) for audio/video playback.

Headphone Output: The SHDM-103 head rest monitor gives you two options for connecting a set of headphones so you can privately listen to your connected AV sources in the backset of your vehicle. The SHDM-103 features a built-in IR transmitter for listening through a pair of IR headphones (530VHP12, sold separately). The SHDM-103 is also fitted with a front-panel 3.5mm headphone jack for a hardwired headphone connection.

Audio Output: The SHDM-103 features a built-in FM transmitter to output sound to your car audio system through the car stereo's FM radio. The headrest monitor is also equipped with a set of stereo RCA outputs to connect to the Aux input on your car stereo (audio cable not included; RCA-to-minijack adapter may be required). The headrest monitor does not offer built-in speakers.

Remote Control: In addition to the unit's front-panel controls, the SHDM-103 comes supplied with a full function IR remote control for wireless operation of the headrest monitor.

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