Car Stereo Head Units Buying Guide

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Car Stereo Head Units Buying Guide

When it comes to the head unit, it is the most important part of the car stereo. The head unit is how a consumer controls all of the features of the car stereo, including adjusting the volume and selecting music. The head unit is where the audio sounds originate from, so it is essential to the stereo system. A head unit offers various options ranging from a CD player and cassette player to newer inputs for various sources of MP3 music. The head unit allows a consumer to tune the radio station, whether it is through satellite, digital, or analogue radio. More users these days are tuning into state-of-the-art HD radio.

Selecting a car stereo head unit is based on several factors for the consumer to consider. First, a user may have a brand preference in mind, such as Pioneer or Kenwood. Another factor is the capability of the head unit, such as the ability to play CDs, MP3s, or cassettes. Bluetooth capability is important to some users who enjoy using their mobile phones hands-free while they are driving. Select the right car stereo based on these factors and more from the wide selection on eBay.

Shopping for Car Stereo Head Units by Brand

Choosing a car stereo head unit is as simple for a consumer as picking a favourite brand. Different brands offer different features, and some brands may be more affordable than others. There are a few noteworthy brands when it comes to purchasing a car stereo head unit.


Pioneer car stereo head units range from basic models to elaborate, sophisticated systems which offer DVD players, touch screens, and MP3 inputs. Pioneer is a well-known brand that offers high-quality products and a variety of prices according to the features of the head units. A shopper can easily hook an iPod up to a Pioneer stereo to listen to MP3s, or purchase a model that offers a built-in equaliser, remote control, removable face for security purposes, and the ability to connect an Android mobile phone.


Sony offers a variety when it comes to car stereo head units, and affordability. Some options a consumer sees when looking at Sony head units are USB inputs, crystal clear sound, fast browsers that allow listeners to jump ahead to songs quickly and easily, and simple remote control accessibility. Some models of Sony head units also offer the user the ability to create themed music channels around his or her specific preferences. Additionally, Sony offers a touch screen model which allows the consumer high-resolution sound and screen quality, as well as the ability to see movies and listen to music from an iPod.


Kenwood offers many of the same features as the other brands, and is considered a high-quality brand when it comes to head units for car stereos. Kenwood makes sound quality the highest priority, and a consumer can expect maximum power, equalisers which are built in, and a bass boost on some models. Another key feature when it comes to Kenwood is full compatibility with Apple products, including the iPhone. Some models offer an iPod mode that allows the user to control the iPod or iPhone and browse songs in many ways, such as high-speed search or skip search.


JVC combines affordability with quality to bring the consumer a great car stereo head unit without a huge price tag. Some of the features that JVC stereo head units offer are Bluetooth capability, phone book transfer capabilities, text notification, radio control through mobile phones, and the ability to play CDs and CD-RWs. Song names come up on the digital screens, and most faces are detachable to prevent theft. Though most basic JVC systems are affordable, the prices vary according to features, and some higher end models offer built-in screens for DVD viewing as well as subwoofer controls and auto dimmers.

Shopping for Car Stereo Head Units by Function

Once a buyer has settled on a brand, next comes selecting which features are necessary for a head unit to have. The main features that a consumer is looking for narrow down the selection and help with the purchasing process when it comes to making a final decision on a car stereo head unit.

CD/Cassette Player

Though most head units are not made with cassette players any longer, a vintage model which still offers this feature can be found for a retro-loving consumer on eBay. Brands like Philips and Blaupunkt can be found with this feature, and some of these also offer CD players as well. Most modern head units include CD players as well as radios.

CD players play standard CDs, and some players are also compatible with rewriteable CDs. Models may also offer song title display, remote controls, and the ability to create playlists, bass boost, and sound amplification which creates a wall of music in cars.


With the popularity of iPods and portable MP3 players which usually hold a large amount of music, many head units come with ports to plug MP3 players in so users are able to access their library of music without having to bring a lot of CDs along when travelling. Some models also offer the ability to plug in SD cards filled with music or use smartphones. Various inputs give the buyer an assortment of ways to play MP3s conveniently. A consumer is able to browse songs, create custom playlists, search by alphabetical listings or by genre, and use a remote control to access the player while driving or in the back seat.


For busy a consumer on the go, a hands-free Bluetooth option is a must. A user is able to make phone calls while still keeping both eyes on the road with voice enabled technology which allows him or her to talk on the phone, dial numbers, and answer incoming calls without having to so much as press a button. Certain models offer speed dial features and last-dialled call features to easily return and make phone calls. Bluetooth microphones are built into the head unit, and a headset can also be plugged in if the user desires.

CD Changer

Some car stereo head units offer a CD changer.. This means that the consumer can load more than one CD into the player, and switch CDs with the press of a button. This adds more convenience to the system and avoids the hassle of having to dig around for CDs and put them in the player. The user is able b to load the changer up before travelling and make changing CDs simple and quick.

DVD Player

High-end models of head units offer larger screens, which typically offer the ability to play DVDs. High-quality sound coupled with a touch screen DVD option makes this type of player a must have for a media-loving consumer, or a buyer who wants to keep children entertained on long journeys. These also offer remote control capability as well as headphone jacks, sound immersion, and the ability to plug in more than one device at the same time for other users who want to do something different.

Steering Wheel Remote

Something which does not normally come with a head unit but is a fun extra feature that can be purchased separately is a steering wheel remote.. A steering wheel remote is installed on the car's steering wheel and makes it easy for a driver to switch songs or radio stations, lower volume, or adjust the equaliser from buttons placed directly on the steering wheel.

How to Buy a Car Stereo Head Unit on eBay

Buying a car stereo head unit on eBay is not only affordable, but picking a new stereo is a lot of fun too. Even if you have never shopped on eBay before, you will be amazed at how simple searching is once you start looking. To find car stereo head units, look for the search bar near the top of any page, and type in what you are looking for, such as "car stereo head unit&", or a specific brand, such as "Pioneer car stereo head unit". This quickly gets you to all of the available options so you can choose the best head unit for your budget and needs.

If you are purchasing a used car stereo head unit from a Top-rated seller on eBay, make sure the equipment comes with all the necessary parts and extras, such as a remote control or additional jacks. Some sellers offer added items when you purchase a head unit, such as cables or other cords. Find out if the item is new in the box or not, and if it still comes with the instructions and installation directions.


Enjoying music in the car is one of the best parts of driving. Make the car ride even more delightful by purchasing a state-of-the-art stereo head unit on eBay. Skip expensive electronics boutiques and get all of the features desired for a lower price, along with neat extras such as Bluetooth capability, a steering wheel remote, or MP3 connectivity. Detachable faceplates eliminate the possibility of stereo theft, and a DVD player can keep kids occupied during long car trips.

Selecting the right car stereo unit should be based on a brand that a buyer feels comfortable with, the right price point, and all of the necessary features which enable the buyer to get the maximum enjoyment from a car stereo for many years to come. With all of the modern technology offered today, car stereos do not just play music; they make phone calls, offer video as well as audio, create custom playlists from the user's mood or favourite artists, and offer home system quality sound in the comfort of the car.

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