Rock out to your favorite tunes with these great Bluetooth car stereos

·10 min read



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If you’re looking to upgrade your car’s sound system to better enjoy your music while you drive, check out our list of top Bluetooth car stereos. Bluetooth car stereos are a great way to listen to music in the car. You can easily connect your phone via Bluetooth to the speaker and listen to your favorite playlists-- gone are the days of lugging around a bulky box of CDs. Many Bluetooth car stereos also allow you to receive hands-free calls, making them great for more than just music.

Choosing a good Bluetooth car stereo depends on the device's compatibility with your phone and vehicle. There are also many features you may choose to include or exclude in your car stereo selection, but know that the more features a stereo possesses, the more expensive it will likely be. It’s important to consider which features you will actually use before making a purchase, and we hope to make your job just a little bit easier with this list of 2022’s leading Bluetooth car stereos. Check them out below.

The Best Bluetooth Car Stereos Models of 2022 in Detail

JENSEN MPR210 Bluetooth Car Stereo: Our Pick

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This Jensen Bluetooth car stereo boasts an easy-to-view LCD screen that displays seven characters for easy reading.

Its Bluetooth capabilities allow you to pair it with compatible devices to listen to music, and you can access your phone’s voice control by connecting your device to the speaker with the push of a button. 

It has 30 preset radio stations, so you won’t need to spend too much time searching for your favorite stations, and you can also charge your phone with its USB charging port. Listen to the sound your music deserves by choosing one of four preset EQ curves, or adjust individual bass and treble as desired. This stereo also comes with a one-year warranty, so you can jam out worry-free.

Pros

  • 30 preset stations

  • Allows for voice control

  • Customizable settings for your desired sound

Cons

  • May be too bright for some customers

PIONEER 6.2" Touchscreen Digital Receiver: Another Great Option

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This Pioneer Bluetooth car stereo offers a good-sized touch screen for easy use while driving. It has a seven band graphic equalizer, with seven adjustable aspects like treble, bass, volume and more.

You can also customize your device’s background with a selection of preset photos. 

As well as connecting via Bluetooth, you can also connect to this stereo via USB port and charge your phone at the same time. There’s also a rear AUX input, for all your sound and video needs. Connect this stereo to your smartphone to enjoy hands-free calling, and even if your battery dies you can still enjoy the sounds of the radio with this versatile stereo.

Pros

  • Large, clear touch screen

  • USB charging port

  • Compatible with various devices

Cons

  • Sometimes missing included microphone

Kenwood Bluetooth Digital Car Stereo: Also Try

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With this Kenwood Bluetooth car stereo, you can connect two phones at once to allow everyone to take turns picking music.

Six EQ (equalizer) curves will let you listen to all genres of music the way they ought to be listened to, from the greatest golden oldies to all the latest pop hits. Alternatively, customize the sound yourself with its 13-band equalizer.

This stereo has three preamp outputs, so you can connect your car’s subwoofers for an intense bass sound if desired. Connect your phone to the stereo for hands-free calling, and view your contact list and caller ID on the stereo’s digital screen. You can also change the screen’s color to suit your tastes better-- your music shouldn’t just sound good, it should look good, too.

Pros

  • Connect up to two phones at once

  • Easy installation process

  • Corded microphone included for hands-free calling

Cons

  • Issues with clock displaying correct time

JVC KD-X260BT Digital Media Receiver: Another Option

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Connect your phone to this JVC Bluetooth stereo and enjoy all your favorite songs while in the car.

It includes ten preset EQ curves and an adjustable band equalizer, and its USB port can be used to charge your phone. If you don’t feel like listening to your playlists, hey, no sweat-- switch on and enjoy one of the device’s 24 preset radio stations. 

This stereo offers hands-free calling as you drive, and an external wired microphone is included for a more clear and convenient sound. It displays your address book and caller ID on screen while you’re talking, and overall it’s a breeze to install-- and even easier to use.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity to compatible phones and headsets

  • 24 preset radio stations-- 18 FM, 6 AM

  • English and Spanish language display

Cons

  • Not compatible with some newer iPhones

Alpine UTE 73-BT Digital Bluetooth Receiver: Also Consider

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This Alpine car stereo is compatible with FLAC files, MP3 and WMA files, so no matter what digital music you want to listen to, this player has you covered.

It’s compatible with iPod, iPhone and Android devices, and you can also listen to your favorite radio stations on it. You can conveniently listen to music while your phone charges, and the stereo’s lights can be customized to the color of your choosing.

You can connect two amps and a subwoofer to this receiver, and alter the bass, treble, mids and subwoofer as desired. It also has a “Bass Engine” feature, which heightens the sound of lower notes. You can make hands-free calls with this stereo, and a microphone is included with the purchase.

Pros

  • High-contrast LCD display for increased visibility

  • Compatible with many different devices

  • Rotary knob for smooth music control

Cons

  • Small, hard-to-read controls

Buying guide: Bluetooth car stereo

Each Bluetooth car stereo will have different features and capabilities, so keep reading to learn more about available features and other things you should consider when shopping around.

Compatibility with your car and phone

Many older phone models have Bluetooth capabilities, but they may not be compatible with certain Bluetooth car stereos. Look online or get in touch with the manufacturer to find out if your phone is compatible with a device before purchasing.

You should also make sure that the speaker is compatible with your car. Universal car stereos come in two sizes, single DIN and double DIN. This ensures compatibility with most cars, but find out which one your car works with before purchasing. However, if your car’s dashboard has been adjusted, you may need to trim or adjust it so that a stereo will fit.

Make hands-free calls

If you want to listen to music and enjoy hands-free phone calls while driving, look for a stereo with this capability. Stereos capable of hands-free calling often come with a separately wired microphone, and some stereos can also access your phone’s address book and display caller ID on screen. 

Preset radio stations make life easier

There may be times when you don’t want to listen to your playlists, so let someone else choose the music for you. This is one of the benefits of listening to the radio, and radio stations are also an excellent way to stay up to date with the news and weather. The more preset radio stations on your car stereo, the more time you’ll save looking for your favorite stations. Some car stereos have over 20 preset radio stations, and you can often customize them to save your own selection of stations for quick and easy access.

Keep your hands on the wheel with voice-control features

Many Bluetooth car stereos can be voice-controlled. This works by connecting the stereo to a phone with voice control capabilities, such as Siri or Alexa. This feature will help you drive safely, removing the temptation to take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.

What are EQ curves and band-equalizers?

When searching for a Bluetooth car stereo, you’ll see the terms “EQ curves” and “band-equalizers” a lot. Band-equalizers allow you to increase the volume of specific note frequencies within a song-- lower frequencies are things like bass notes, and high-end frequencies are things like treble notes (high notes). Changing the prominence of these frequencies can change the whole feel of the song, and can be fun to play around with.

This lets you make changes to a song to better suit its genre. For example, EQ curves are preset adjustments to frequencies that fit particular genres. This can be quite useful as finding the perfect balance may take some time, especially if you regularly enjoy listening to multiple genres of music.

Charge your phone on the go

Look for a car stereo with a USB port-- this feature will allow you to charge your phone while driving. Most stereos will let you play music while charging your phone, but you may want to contact the manufacturer to make sure of this before buying.

Look for a large, clear screen

The graphics on your car stereo screen should be large and clear, letting you quickly glance at it without straining your eyes. Some Bluetooth car stereos use buttons and some use touch screens, so consider which you prefer. A touch screen will likely be brighter than a stereo with only buttons, but it might not be as easy to use while driving.

Look for a product with easy installation

A Bluetooth car stereo should come with easy-to-follow installation instructions. Look for a product that comes with instructions you understand, in terms of its installation and use. If the stereo has certain installation requirements, find out what these are and, more importantly, how easy they are before purchasing.

How customizable is a Bluetooth car stereo?

Many car stereos light up, and some allow you to change the color of these lights. If you have a green car, you might want green lights to match your ride. If you're in the market for a touch-screen stereo, check to see whether it lets you use your own photographs as a background. You may be happy choosing from a selection of stock photos, but customization can always be fun.

Look for bang for your buck

In today’s world, Bluetooth car stereos are much more popular than stereos that can only play CDs. Because of this there are many on the market, often available at competitive rates. You’ll save a lot of money if you’re not picky about EQ curves and band-equalizers, and if hands-free calling isn't a necessity this can also affect a stereo’s price.

A Bluetooth car stereo with all the bells and whistles can cost as much as $1,500, but you can purchase a decent device for much less. Consider budgeting around $150 to $400 for a solid option.

Bluetooth car stereos FAQs

Q: Do the stereo or speakers make a considerable difference to the sound of the music?

A good stereo makes a difference to the sound you hear, especially a stereo with many band-equalizers. That being said, good speakers are more important. Without quality speakers, a great stereo won’t sound as good as it could sound. Quality speakers can make all the difference-- even a standard stereo can sound great with high-quality speakers.

Q: What is the difference between a single-DIN and double-DIN stereo?

The DIN describes the size of the stereo. A single-DIN stereo is one inch tall, and a double-DIN stereo is two inches tall. These sizes will fit into the allocated dashboard space of most cars, and there is no difference in available features or sound quality between the two.

Q: Do all new car stereos have Bluetooth capabilities?

Most new car stereos have Bluetooth capabilities, as many people listen to their music through subscription streaming services on their phones, like Spotify or Apple Music. Not every new car stereo comes with Bluetooth though, so it’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer before purchasing. If you ever struggle to connect your phone to your car’s stereo, you can usually bypass Bluetooth altogether and play your music using a USB port and cable.

Q: How many types of car stereos are there?

There are four main types of car stereos. Bluetooth car stereos are known as digital media receivers, but you can also purchase a DVD receiver, CD receiver and navigation receiver as well.

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