Car Accessories:

Best car stereos of 2014

Updated

With more consumers switching to digital audio downloads over CD purchases, in-dash receivers must learn not to compete with, but to play nice with an increasing array of portable digital audio players and formats. More and more, we're seeing car audio manufacturers move away from the standard auxiliary input, instead implementing USB inputs and iPod connections. As the standards for Bluetooth begin to solidify and the technology takes hold, we're also seeing a few receivers that support A2DP stereo streaming, creating a convenient, no-wire experience for the car audio enthusiast. Below you'll find our current five overall-favorite car stereos, but check in regularly for updates as new products are released.

Pioneer AVIC Z130BT

In one box, the Pioneer AVIC-Z130BT has all the must-have car tech features that most people could want, including hands-free calling, voice-controlled digital audio playback, and turn-by-turn directions with traffic data.

4.5 stars Outstanding

Sony MEX-GS600BT

The Sony MEX-GS600BT's App Remote function is not very useful without a dashboard mount for your phone, but everything else about this full-featured car stereo makes it easily recommendable.

4 stars Excellent

Alpine CDE-141

The Alpine CDE-141 won't blow you away with bells and whistles, but this entry-level car stereo gets the basics right at a competitive price.

3 stars Good

Pioneer DEH-X9500BHS CD receiver

The Pioneer DEH-X9500BHS packs in a remarkably wide range of audio sources for a single-DIN receiver, including some rudimentary app integration.

4 stars Excellent

Parrot Asteroid Smart

The Parrot Asteroid Smart is a smartly designed and flexible multimedia receiver that hangs its hat on an app market that, for now, doesn't offer much choice.

3.5 stars Very good
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