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Video: Tips to avoid glare on your car stereo display

Bright glare on the stereo display has plagued us for as long as we've had the sun and car stereos. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it. But sometimes there is. At Crutchfield, we've found that there are some stereo features that can definitely help, like being able to change the display color, increasing the brightness and contrast, and best of all, being able to tilt the display to remove the glare. Check out our examination of the "glare problem" in this video, and keep these things in mind when shopping for a new car receiver.

  • Bill from Sarasota

    Posted on 3/22/2021

    Kenwood dmx9707s, worst consumer product I've ever purchased. I was fixated on wireless car play and was advised to install this unit. Totally useless in daylight, found myself choosing to drive with convertible top up in nice weather here in Florida to attempt by shading screen with hand to see incoming calls maps ways etc. I'm against more gov. Controls but this should be investigated (did all stereo manufactures get together and decide they could all save a buck in aftermarket?) Need recall like other auto safety problems with autos.

  • David Messing from Nebraska City

    Posted on 2/25/2021

    Pioneer DEH-S4220BT is an awesome sounding radio. The display is set to full brightness, but is not bright enough for sunlight in the car.

  • John Farrell

    Posted on 1/3/2021

    Same issue with my Kenwood. Would not recommend.

  • Curt from Napa, CA

    Posted on 4/28/2020

    Amazing! Same problem with my Pioneer AVH-2400NEX receiver. Total junk in the sunlight.... from ANY angle. It has a very adjustable screen. It also has a back-up camera that becomes useless in the daylight; and it doesn't take much. I find it it incredible that an entire industry has gone down this same rabbit hole with their displays. Incredibly nice unit otherwise; but no good in the daylight!

  • Jim from Loveland CO

    Posted on 1/15/2020

    Just added a Alpine HALO type radio to my new Acadia. And yes, it looked great in the showroom but when I drove it home in daylight after the install I could barley see the display from the drivers side. The 9" display was too washed out. It does have tilt and vertical adjustments but you can't stop the light from all angles. Ha, you may have to go spend $$$ to get your window tinted. It's not a very good display!

  • Joel from Denver

    Posted on 1/7/2020

    To me, the problem is that all head units that don't have an LCD display, have a glossy clear plastic cover over the display that is highly reflective. This was not the case with units from the 80's which were more readable in sunlight. Until this 'fashion' goes away, we are stuck with poor visibility in sunlight. Seems like another example of 'form over function'.

  • Rick A from San Antonio

    Posted on 12/5/2019

    will glare guard visors work? Does crutchfield sell them?

    Commenter image

    Ken Nail from Crutchfield

    on 12/6/2019

    Thanks for your question Rick. I'm afraid we don't sell glare guard visors, and I don't have any experience with them. You may want to check the reviews for any of the products you're interested in and see if they address that issue.
  • Pablo from QB

    Posted on 9/23/2019

    Pure BS. You're not going to see jack in daylight conditions. The factory display in my 2014 Civic is way, way better. What about a glare-reducing film.

  • Jason W. from Fergus Falls

    Posted on 5/28/2019

    I also have recently installed a Kenwood DMX7705S and it is not bright enough nor are there any controls for changing the overall brightness. The OEM unit it replaced was 100 times brighter and adjustable. Given it seems to be a common issue I can't fathom why they have not figure this out by now.

    Commenter image

    Ken Nail from Crutchfield

    on 5/29/2019

    Hi Jason, There are controls available on your Kenwood for adjusting the brightness, contrast, black level, backlight, color, and tint of your Kenwood's display. I won't guarantee you'll get the brightness level you're looking for, but hopefully you can get it closer to where you'd like it. You can find the directions for adjusting the display at this link:
  • Ronnie from Salinas

    Posted on 3/12/2019

    First day with my Kenwood DMX7705S, and I have to say the glare is horrible! I've even thought about returning the unit, but after reading some of these comments I guess it's every headunit. I'm going to mess around with the angle, but I already tried this yesterday. It's a shame the manufacturers have not come up to an answer for this.