One of the first steps in creating a great sound system in your vehicle is by purchasing one of the best touch screen music systems. This type of stereo system is very versatile and allows you to do numerous tasks besides just listen to the radio.
With features such as a rear view camera and Bluetooth connectivity, the best touch screen music systems are super convenient and a huge upgrade to your stock system.
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Benefits of Touch Screen Music Systems
Stream music and play movies
You can control various aspects of your entertainment system with just your fingertips, such as changing a CD or playing a DVD or MP3 player. You can also stream music from a USB drive.
In addition to using your fingers to access the controls, many of the best touch screen radios have Bluetooth capability. This enables you to play music from digital devices, make phone calls, and perform other tasks.
Operate it hands-free
If you frequently talk on your phone while driving, a touch screen stereo will enable you to do so hands-free. It’s much safer to make or take phone calls without fumbling for the buttons on your electronic device.
Appease all passengers
The best touch screen stereo will allow you to play one type of media or program in the front of your vehicle and another type in the back. For example, you may prefer to listen to classic rock while your kids watch a Disney movie. A touch screen car radio with dual-zone listening will enable you to do both.
See a big and bright display
Many older model stereos feature small digital numbers on a dimly lit screen. They are much harder to read compared to a modern touch screen car stereo. The best touch screen car stereo has a bright and colorful display that easily allows you to see and use the controls.
Touch screens are the safest and easiest way to operate a car stereo. Dials and push-button controls take a bit more concentration to operate, forcing your eyes off the road. Using a touch screen is much less distracting. Some brands even feature backup cameras.
Listen to HD radio
A touch screen radio will enable you to connect to local HD radio stations. These channels have better signals and better sound quality compared to regular radio stations.
Get more power
An aftermarket touch screen car radio usually packs more power than the stereo that comes standard with your vehicle. You don’t need to change your entire audio system to get a better sound.
Control your phone
The best touch screen stereo will allow you to download an app so you can control your phone through the stereo’s touch screen. The apps vary according to the manufacturer.
Types of Touch Screen Music Systems
Single Din VS Double Din
The German standards body Deutsches Institut für Normung created the term DIN. It refers to the height and width of a vehicle’s stereo head unit.
This standard is used by most automakers and manufacturers, which makes it easy for you to replace an OEM stereo with an aftermarket unit.
Radios that are around 2 inches tall are typically single DIN, while devices that are twice as tall are double DIN. Touch screen stereos are usually double DIN; however, there are some single DIN head units with slide-out touch screens.
Touch Screen Music Systems: Top Brands
Kenwood Corporation was founded in Japan in 1946. Following a merger with JVC, the Tokyo-based company further cemented its role as a leader in consumer electronics. It manufactures both car audio and home audio products. Two popular products are the Kenwood 6.2″ 2-Din Receiver and JVC Double DIN Bluetooth Touch Screen LCD Display.
Pioneer started as an audio products manufacturer in 1938 when Nozomu Matsumoto made speakers in his garage. The multinational corporation has since designed and distributed various digital entertainment products in addition to car audio equipment. One top product is the Pioneer Double DIN Bluetooth In-Dash Car Stereo.
BOSS Audio has been manufacturing audio and video products for over 30 years. Based in Oxnard, Calif., with offices in Shenzhen, China, the company sells hundreds of car, marine, and Powersports products in 130 countries. One recommended product is the BOSS Audio Car Multimedia Player with Apple Car Play.
Choose a touch screen stereo that’s good in quality and has a decent-sized display. If you don’t want to strain your eyes to see the screen, consider a bigger display with larger icons and easy-to-read graphics. Displays with information such as an album’s name, artist, and song are helpful, as are those with split-screen capability.
A touch screen stereo will typically have several connection options. This may include Bluetooth receivers, CD/DVD readers, USB ports, flash card readers, and AUX jacks. Decide which of these features are most important. For example, you may want a USB port to play music but also to recharge a device.
Make sure your iPhone and/or Android devices are compatible with a touch screen car deck before you make a purchase. Don’t forget to consider the types of devices other members in your household use. The best touch screen head unit should function with both types of operating systems, but some are only compatible with one or the other.
The best touch screen car radio will allow you to control the system using voice commands. This hands-free feature allows you to keep your eyes on the road yet still take a phone call, change a CD, or carry out other functions. It’s a convenient and safe option.
Steering Wheel Controls
Most cars these days feature controls on the steering wheel to operate the audio system. This allows you to quickly and easily turn up or down the volume, change the station, or take a call without taking your hands off the wheel. Note: make sure you select a touch screen stereo that is capable of connecting to the steering wheel controls before making a purchase.
A rear view camera is a great addition to any touch screen car deck. It is particularly helpful when you’re parking. Some brands have sensors that alert you to obstacles that are in close proximity to your bumper. Others feature tips to help you park. These cameras are useful and have dropped in price in recent years.
If you are an audiophile, you may want to purchase a touch screen car stereo that has a built-in equalizer. This allows you to control various frequencies to get the best sound out of your audio system. For example, if you want more bass and less treble on a song, an equalizer will help you make the right adjustments.
A touch screen car audio system with a WiFi antenna will help you locate Wi-Fi connections. This will allow you to do many things, such as download maps for GPS or download apps. It is a convenient feature that can be particularly useful if you don’t want to drain your data usage.
Some touch screen car stereos have more storage capability than others, so it’s important to check how much expandable storage a particular model contains. The more storage it has, the more music and videos you can keep directly on the stereo. This is useful if you don’t want to pair a device with the unit and just want to play audio and video files directly from it.
This feature is convenient if you want a system that can play DVDs and other videos. Passengers can watch a movie without having to touch the screen in order to control features such as volume. A wireless remote can be used to control other functions as well.