A car stereo allows you to enjoy hours of fun while on the road, especially if you drive alone.
A high-end stereo can make the whole experience of being in a vehicle a lot easier, and two that are worth considering are Kenwood and Alpine. But this may raise your next question about which car stereo is actually better: Alpine or Kenwood? Well, let’s find out.
When it comes to the best car stereo, Alpine takes the edge over Kenwood in being the most sought-after car stereo. The Alpine head units produce fantastic sound quality, incorporating the latest digital technology trends that make listening to music and making wireless phone calls and discovering where you want to go becomes easy and seamless.
On the other hand, Kenwood offers fantastic multimedia experiences such as DVD, GPS, speakers, CD changers, covering the whole gamut of car entertainment.
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Tip: Not every car has a room for double din radio with a large screen, and if yours is one of them, but you would like to enjoy a large display, do not worry.
An excellent example of a single din stereo with a big display is the Alpine iLX-F409.
In this article, I will detail both brands, so you can find out which stereo is the ideal fit for your car audio system.
Alpine vs. Kenwood Car Stereos
Alpine and Kenwood both make some of the best car stereos. Both of them are not just priced reasonably, they also provide the best entertainment experience on the go.
Alpine and Kenwood are high-performing car stereos that will last as long as your car, or in the cases of some vehicles, even longer.
Alpine Car Stereo
Alpine is one of the go-to brands for audio systems, and some of the best car brands like Audi, BMW, Honda, and Dodge go with Alpine. When it comes to car stereos, Alpine offers so many different latest features:
- Highest sound quality
- Plenty of input and control options
- Fantastic connectivity options
- Some of the best head units for connecting not just smartphones, but other devices as well
- Speakers emit a crisp, clear, and rich sound for a beautiful audio experience
- Plenty of options for individual components of your audio system
There are Alpine receivers that don’t just work as an entertainment system but as an infotainment system as well. They come with GPS capabilities that make navigation easy.
Kenwood Car Stereo
Kenwood is another top brand that incorporates the latest Japanese technology.
Kenwood manufactures some of the best range of car entertainment stereos out there. In addition, the high-end Kenwood receivers can produce fantastic audio effects.
But that is not all. The functionality and performance of the multimedia and navigation systems are stellar.
- The output of the audio and video are first class.
- Plenty of connectivity options
- All the products and components are compatible with smartphones and navigation set-ups.
- The LCD doesn’t just look great. It is functional too.
- You can perform any call easily when driving through the hands-free calling. Just make use of the voice command functionality.
- In most models, you can access the car’s in-built WiFi, Bluetooth, navigation system, and HD radio.
Kenwood is famous for the fantastic audio and video output it produces, and there is no limit on connectivity options.
If you are a tech-geek, you will love Kenwood Car stereo for incorporating the latest technological features.
It comes with fast-charging USB ports, so you can use your phone and control the inputs to your car stereo for longer. What’s more, there is even the lane assist which can guide you to park your car safely and effortlessly.
Best Single Din Car Stereo
Kenwood KMM-BT325 vs. Alpine CDE-172BT
The Alpine CDE-172BT is the best car stereo that can satisfy anyone looking for a fantastic car stereo at an affordable cost. It is full of innovative features that allow you to make effortless adjustments.
The Kenwood KMM-BT325 comes in at a close second. It is reasonably priced and is full of the latest features that guarantee fantastic sound quality.
- 6 EQ options
- 13-band equalizer
- Front USB input
- 2-3.5 mm auxiliary inputs
- Can connect to 2 phones at once
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- No of channels – 4
The KMM-BT325 provides a lot of customization options for audio quality, thanks to the 13-band equalizer and six preloaded options. The availability of pre-built options means you can pick one right off without further adjustments.
No matter what format your music is in, whether mp3, WMA, WAV, and AAC files, the music system will play just about anything.
You can tune the audio and listen to it the way you want. Plus, no matter what noise is outside the window, it will not affect your music experience.
This stereo has a good variety of ports. It comes with a front USB port and 2 Aux ports to plug the phone or other devices. For example, if you connect your iPhone device or Android, you can access popular music applications like Pandora and Spotify.
The connection will be without any issues and seamless. This allows you to enjoy any music you like.
You can connect up to 5 Bluetooth devices to the receiver at a time. To enjoy listening to the music, all you have to do is switch between the devices.
One of the Kenwood KM-BT325 features that I like most is that it allows you to connect two phones at once. And a simple touch of a button allows you to switch between the two phones.
If you are driving with friends or family, you don’t have to disconnect the phone and have another person answer the call.
You can switch to the other phone and have the person traveling with you answer the call. You can easily switch between the tracks coming from two different phones.
If you prefer to change the background, you can change the color and customize the look of the radio’s front panel.
If there is one thing this stereo doesn’t do is shake up the entire neighborhood with its noise. It is because, like in all other stereos, the built-in amplifier is not the most powerful one, but the 4×22 Watts RMS is still not too bad within car radios.
- A huge range of ports for excellent connectivity
- Customize music the way you want
- You can connect two phones at once
- Variety of EQ options
- It plays any music format.
- Not the loudest or the most powerful, so it will not produce sounds that will shake the car.
If you are looking for an excellent single-Din stereo, then Kenwood KM-BT325 is the best choice.
- 3-band parametric EQ
- Front USB port and Aux-in
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- No of channels – 6
With the Alpine CDE-172BT, you can change the EQ of songs however you want. Different EQ options mean you can customize the audio sound just the way you like to listen to it.
If you care about the aesthetics as much as the functionality, this stereo will allow you to change the color of the display and the backlight. As a result, you can make the interior of your car look sleeker than ever.
In addition, you can answer and make calls when you are driving without using your hands.
If you have a CD full of songs, go ahead and play them on this stereo. It doesn’t matter if you have Spotify, a flash drive, or a CD, you can connect to any device, thanks to the availability of the USB and port.
You can play any music format, be it WMA, MP3, etc., without any trouble.
The innovative App Direct mode is entirely compatible with your IOS device. So, you can access apps like Pandora and Spotify whenever you want.
One unique feature of this stereo is the rotary knob that allows you to control the volume and more besides. You can control the tracks you are listening to and switch inputs. This way, you will not be distracted when on the road and use your stereo very easily for a safe and fabulous experience.
Every latest car stereo should have a Bluetooth connection that comes in-built with the car.
Alpine’s Bluetooth connection is advanced, and it makes syncing your Android or iOS hassle-free.
You can change the music till you land on one you want, make phone calls, and make navigation through simple voice commands.
- Fabulous music quality
- Various fine-tuning audio adjustment options
- Different EQ options
- It comes with Bluetooth and USB for advanced connectivity.
- Highly compatible with external devices
- A limited number of external ports
If you are looking for a stereo that offers a fantastic music experience in an easy-to-use system, then you don’t have to look further than the CDE-172BT.
Best Double Din Car Stereo
Kenwood DDX9707S vs. Alpine ILX-W650
When it comes to the best double Din car stereos, the Kenwood DDX9703S will be your best bet.
The stand-out features include a four-channel amplifier, 13-band EQ, Sirius XM, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Pandora, Spotify, DVD, touch screen, and voice recognition.
- 13 band graphic equalizer
- B-in 4-volt preamp outputs
- Two video inputs
- In-built GPS
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- USB wired connectivity
- No of channels: 6
- Integration with Android Auto and Apple Carplay
The Kenwood DDX9707S is one of the most popular double Din car stereos in the market. You can listen to all your favorite stations at excellent quality.
And the sound quality is just excellent. For those of you who can fine-tune sounds the way you like, the 13 band equalizer allows you to do just that.
You can play almost any file format such as FLAC, AAC, and WAV with the auxiliary input. In addition, the in-built preamp outputs enable you to experience clean, clear, and high-quality sound.
The display itself looks attractive and chic. In addition, its touch screen capabilities make controlling various functions simple and convenient.
The Bluetooth option that comes in-built is also top-notch. If you want to extract a media file from your phone and stream it from your device without any trouble. It supports CDs and DVs giving you more options to listen to your favorite tracks.
You can use the USB port to plug your smartphone or tab and use the Apple Carplay (Siri Eyes Free) and Android Auto capabilities. With these, you can control various settings, obtain access to navigation apps, send text messages and even attend phone calls on the go.
- Crystal clear digital display
- Variety of media format support
- Fantastic Android Auto Integration
- Plenty of AV input and output options
- Single USB port
- The display is not anti-glare, so glare during high sunlight makes it difficult to operate.
The Kenwood DDX9703S is easy to set up and has plenty of customization tools for an incredible audio experience.
- 9-band equalizer
- 3 set of 4V preamp outputs
- Dual camera input
- Super responsive touchscreen
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- No of channels 6
The Alpine ILX-W650 comes with one of the best user interfaces. You can use the Bluetooth connection to use your smartphone even when it’s inside your pocket using the Apple Carplay. If you own an apple or android phone, then the Alpine ILX-W650 is a fantastic choice for you.
The GPS antenna that comes with this stereo is even better than the one on your phone, but you have to try it to experience it. The map is more responsive too. You can store whatever factor controls you think will be helpful again.
It has dual camera input, so you can decide if you want the dashcam or the rear camera. You can send voice messages quickly and effortlessly through the sensitive touchscreen.
The Alpine ILX-W650 is SiriusXM ready, so if you are crazy about satellite radio, you can listen to it. The boot is a little slow, and you may end up losing 15 to 20s. Keep in mind that you cannot play CDs, and there is only one USB port.
With this stereo, though, you may lose steering wheel controls. But there is a way around it, but not the cheapest one, though.
Simply buy the iDatalink Maestro head unit, which will allow you to get all your steering wheel controls along with diagnostic information.
- Can play both Apple Carplay and Android Auto
- Excellent sound quality
- Responsive and easy-to-use touchscreen
- Incredible GPS antenna.
- Has only one USB port.
- The boot-up is slow.
- Do not play CDs.
- You cannot personalize the background colors to your preferences.
If you are looking for a stereo with incredible audio experience and a fantastic touchscreen, you can opt for Alpine ILX-W650.
Is Single Din or Double Din better?
Your sound quality or music experience will not differ in which head unit you use. However, you will notice the difference in the features and capabilities of the head unit depending on whether it’s single or a double Din.
With Double Din units, as a standard, you get large responsive touchscreen displays which is not always the case for the single din radios.
Double DIN units are a lot more versatile and offer many different functions. Not only can you use them for sound controls, but also as your car’s climate control system or even phone sync to make calls without having to worry about taking off one hand from driving!
The larger height is perfect to fit a touchscreen and even rear camera angle. In many cars, you can upgrade your car stereo from a single Din to a double din and enjoy the benefits that come with the newest technologies, but some dashboards will not accept the larger din size.
In this case, you can still use a single din radio, but with the large floating screen, or permanently mounted outside the dash, like for example in the Alpine iLX-F409.
If you are in the market for a new car stereo, I recommend checking out all of these features that Alpine offers.
It has everything from Bluetooth connectivity to sound quality and ease-of-use, not just at installation but also during daily driving! Plus, it won’t cost much effort either with automatic or manual settings available, depending on your preference, and of course, budget.
If you are looking for a car stereo with a fantastic multimedia experience such as DVD, GPS, speakers, CD changers, then you should go with Kenwood. Kenwood covers the whole gamut of car entertainment.