Any music lover wants a good car stereo for their car. But when it is about choosing a stereo under a tight budget, it certainly seems troublesome.
Trust us when we say this is nothing but a misconception. It is possible to find a great deal for your car audio stereo under even a hundred bucks if you look in-depth and set your priorities. To make the process easier for you, we have put effort into carefully figuring out the top-notch car stereos within a hundred dollars.
We have provided you with comprehensive reviews of the outstanding stereos to help you start your journey to find the best car stereo under $100.
For your ease, start with a glimpse at our quick summary. You may find what you need.
Jump To Contents
- Car Stereos Under $100 - Quick Overview of 10 Best Picks
- 10 Best Car Stereo Receivers Under $100 - In-Depth Reviews
- 1. Pioneer MVH-S322BT Digital Media Receiver - Top Single-Din Pick
- 2. PLZ MP-902 7" Touchscreen Car Radio - Top Double Din Pick
- 3. KENWOOD KMM-BT332U Car Stereo - Best for Higher Output
- 4. BOSS BV9370B Double Din Car Stereo System - Best Versatile
- 5. Pioneer MVH-S310BT Single Din Receiver - Popular Pick
- 6. AboutBit 7-inch Double Din Receiver - Most Rated
- 7. Hinine PAD2 7” Double Din Touch Screen Stereo - Best Portable
- 8. Hikity Q3162 10.1" Double Din Car Stereo - Best Large Screen
- 9. Podofo Q3184 7-Inch Single Din Head Unit - Best Flip Screen
- 10. BOSS BV6658B 1 Din Stereo System - Best for Remote Control
- The Verdict
Car Stereos Under $100 - Quick Overview of 10 Best Picks
1. Pioneer MVH-S322BT
It has unparalleled sound quality and a VA LCD 2-line display that meets state-of-the-art Bluetooth connectivity. Pioneer's Smart Sync App and a robust 200W power output make it a beacon of in-car entertainment excellence.
2. PLZ MP-902 7"
Boasting a 7-inch LCD touch display, 1080P video playback, and innovative connectivity options, it offers aesthetic elegance and seamless smartphone integration for an out-of-the-world driving soundtrack.
3. KENWOOD KMM-BT332U
for higher output
Featuring a radiant 255 Segment 1.5 Line Text Display, Music Mix for simultaneous 5-phone pairing, and an impressive 300W output, it promises an immersive auditory expedition.
4. BOSS BV9370B
This 6.5-inch digital LED touchscreen stereo shines with screen mirroring capabilities, voice assistant integration, and wireless streaming. It's not just a stereo; it's an infotainment powerhouse.
5. Pioneer MVH-S310BT
Offering a sleek LED-backlit display and stellar Bluetooth capabilities, the Advanced Sound Retriever technology and Pioneer Smart Sync App integration set new standards in in-car entertainment and connectivity.
6. AboutBit 7-inch
Experience crystal-clear visuals on a vibrant 7" display and dive into intuitive controls, seamless Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and a revolutionary Phone Mirror Link. A modern fusion of entertainment and convenience in one sleek unit!
7. Hinine PAD2 7”
Boasting a 7-inch IPS touchscreen, this sleek stereo ensures CarPlay/Android Auto convenience and powerful Bluetooth 5.0. Navigate, stream, and connect effortlessly wherever the road takes you!
8. Hikity Q3162
for large screen
Size does matter with Hikity's 10.1-inch behemoth! Experience dual-app multitasking with its split-screen feature. From hands-free calling to exploring online apps, this Android powerhouse ensures every drive is an adventure!
9. Podofo Q3184 7"
for Flip screen
Elevate your drive with a 7" capacitive screen, offering dynamic visuals and customizable backlights. Experience Android/iPhone mirroring, diverse connectivity, and hands-on wheel control. Make every journey entertaining!
10. BOSS BV6658B
for remote control
Unleash cinematic experiences with unique Blu-Ray support. Immerse in unparalleled Bluetooth connections, remote control, diverse audio formats, and the groundbreaking "Push To Talk" feature. Your ticket to premium in-car entertainment!
10 Best Car Stereo Receivers Under $100 - In-Depth Reviews
Let’s dive into the in-detailed reviews of the top 10 car stereos under 100 USD.
1. Pioneer MVH-S322BT Digital Media Receiver - Top Single-Din Pick
If you want your sound like never before, with every tone and nuance carefully restored, then this device is a must-have for you. Thanks to its Advanced Sound Retriever functionality, users can now experience more vibrant and robust auditory output. The brilliant innovation precisely restores the subtle acoustic details lost during the compression stages.
The device is compatible with Pandora, Spotify, Android, and iOS. Also, the integration of MIXTRAX provides a listening ambiance infused with DJ-style elements and club-style lighting. The inclusion of FLAC Codec Support amplifies the audio experience, ensuring the preservation of sound quality and fidelity during playback. However, some users found difficulties in phone connection while using Spotify. This problem only arises while using Spotify and could be mitigated by connecting via Bluetooth.
App integration and compatibility are the star features of the MVH-S322BT. The Pioneer Smart Sync App allows user to take their musical experience to a higher level by establishing a synergy between the smartphone and receiver. The app can be used via both iOS and Android OS. In some cases, the heavy dependence on the app is quite problematic for some users who want to avoid installing the app. Advanced features like Amazon Alexa and others can be availed only by using the apps.
With robust support for a spectrum of file formats such as MP3, WMA, AAC, and WAV, the MVH-S322BT promises compatibility with a comprehensive digital music library. It thrives in delivering crisp and premium audio, enriched by the presence of USB and AUX inputs, for a seamless listening journey.
The single DIN head unit delivers a functional and user-friendly display with the necessary functions and technicalities for a top-notch user experience. Even though it has a VA LCD 2-line display, in terms of visual aesthetics, it disappoints with single-color visuals.
The display is designed to be minimal and readable, making sure that all sorts of users can efficiently utilize its experience.
When it comes to connectivity, the head unit ensures seamless connectivity with the latest Bluetooth technology in its arsenal. You can have convenient hands-free calling with utmost clarity thanks to its Wideband Speech Handsfree Profile 1.6. Above everything, It's one of the best single din receivers considering its price, performance and overall customer feedback!
2. PLZ MP-902 7" Touchscreen Car Radio - Top Double Din Pick
In today’s era of car stereos, the P.L.Z MP-902 is an exquisite merger of aesthetic design and technological progress, which would be a pity to miss.
To your surprise, the stereo has remote control features, allowing you to control your media from the back of your car seat. Like any other car stereo, it does not fail to outperform in the connectivity segment.
It has the latest Bluetooth 5.3 with an external Bluetooth antenna, which makes hand-free calling much smoother and gives uninterrupted audio streaming experiences. The built-in noise-cancelling mic and 3.5mm external Mic jack provide clear call sound in noisy environments.
You can customize the steering wheel using the SWC feature. It allows you to customize any of the function buttons of the steering wheel according to your preference, like switching songs, answering calls, etc. The stylish 7-color LED buttons can either auto-switch or can be customized to the driver's preference, adding extra dynamics to the radio.
The stereo pleases a wide range of musical tastes with its built-in 10-band equalizer. When we talk about compatibility, this stereo is impressively versatile. Whether you have a smartphone or speaker, the P.L.Z Double Din Car Stereo doesn't discriminate.
Audio enthusiasts will appreciate the stereo output complemented by a 4 surround sound channel configuration, and 2 subwoofer outputs. This ensures that every note and every beat is resonated with clarity and depth.
The exterior has a black finish with a sleek aura. This stylish head unit has an impressive 7-inch FHD IPS capacitive touch display. It offers 1080P video playback and ensures a smooth user experience.
Compared to competitors, it offers a safer and more comprehensive driving experience with its waterproofed front and rear-view cameras. The HD rear camera, especially with its night vision and an expansive 170° wide-angle view, ensures safety and convenience. While the rear camera boasts HD quality and night vision, some users have questioned its overall build quality and durability.
The availability of Mirror Link using USB and other auxiliary options ensures you have more than enough options to connect your phone. Posing threats to user privacy, the system relies on an external Chinese app for its phone link feature. This has raised concerns among users regarding the app's trustworthiness and data security.
3. KENWOOD KMM-BT332U Car Stereo - Best for Higher Output
If you are a fan of Amazon Alexa, this single DIN head unit will be a game changer for you. It offers a dedicated button only for Alexa, and to use it, you will have to connect your phone to the head unit.
With a simple press of the dedicated "Alexa" button, a world of functionalities such as access to music, audiobooks, news, weather, traffic, and smart home controls unfolds, contributing to a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
The unit is compatible with the SiriusXM satellite radio tuner, ensuring users can access various channels offering music, sports, news, and more, enhancing the available entertainment options. But, It does not come with the satellite radio tuner, so users who want to enjoy the features will have to purchase it separately.
The outlook matters, and the stereo left a strong presence with its visually appealing 255 Segment 1.5 Line Text Display. Though the 1.5-line text display seems insufficient, it still satisfies its users with unique design and color features.
Its Variable Color Illumination feature allows customization, enabling the LEDs to match any color dash lighting, which ensures that the stereo seamlessly blends with the car’s interior for a synchronized, appealing look.
The head unit is unparalleled when it comes to connectivity options. It is embedded with a Front USB and AUX IN, providing diverse connectivity for various devices.
It lets you pair two Bluetooth-equipped phones and quickly switch between them for hands-free calling. It will let you wirelessly control and stream radio services, Spotify, TIDAL, and Qobuz. The most game-changing feature is their Music Mix option, which allows users to pair 5 phones at a time.
You will be in love with its built-in 13-band EQ and Digital Time Alignment. They offer maximum tuning functionalities to provide superior sound quality. Its EQ enhances specific frequencies to mitigate the negative impact of road noise. Together, it ensures a calm and comfy music experience.
4. BOSS BV9370B Double Din Car Stereo System - Best Versatile
The Double DIN head unit is an actual BOSS when it comes to power wattage. It will deliver a burst of max 320 W whenever you need it. It handles the extra power pressure with ease so that you can put more pressure on your audio gadgets.
A standout feature of the head unit is screen mirroring or A-Link. It lets Android users project their mobile screen into the larger stereo display. It enhances user experience by allowing easier access to navigation, music, and other smartphone functionalities.
The stereo’s Bluetooth connectivity supports hands-free calling so the driver can focus solely on driving. It also allows users to wirelessly stream and control music, Spotify, and Pandora.
The unit’s USB and SD ports allow for direct connection and playback of media files, and an auxiliary input is available to ensure compatibility with various external audio sources.
The touchscreen display of the BOSS BV9370B is undeniably one of its spotlight features. Boasting a 6.5-inch digital LED touchscreen, the unit provides users an immersive visual experience and ease of operation.
The display ensures that icons, texts, and images are displayed with reasonable sharpness and color accuracy. However, some users have faced issues with the display under direct sunlight, as the display’s peak brightness is not sufficient to operate in such conditions.
The push to Talk voice assistant feature takes connectivity to the next step. With Bluetooth connectivity, users can use their phone’s voice assistant in the car stereo by pushing only a button. But, the only drawback is the quality of voice assistance heavily depends on the phone’s quality. A user who uses an older version phone can not utilize the feature at its fullest.
The stereo system offers extensive connectivity with various inputs, including those for front and rearview cameras, enhancing vehicle safety. The stereo is also compatible with additional steering wheel controls. However, users have to install a separate interface to use this feature.
An integrated equalizer facilitates personalized audio experiences, allowing users to adjust the balance, fader, bass, and treble to match their preferences. This customization can be conveniently managed through a wireless remote control, providing access to essential functions.
5. Pioneer MVH-S310BT Single Din Receiver - Popular Pick
The popular single DIN is the ultimate king of connectivity and is unparalleled in its segment. It offers simultaneous connection and control of two phones and can register up to 5. The Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) ensures security and offers an easy device pairing process.
To add to this, the Serial Port Profile (SPP) amplifies the receiver’s compatibility and interaction capabilities, ensuring a broad and adaptable connectivity spectrum. The built-in microphone feature further enhances the hands-free experience.
Seamlessly compatible with both Android and Apple iOS, it ensures connectivity and integration brilliance in in-car entertainment. The Pioneer Smart Sync offers a diverse array of features like hands-free calling, music playback, navigational and driving aids, etc.
You can harmonize their musical experience with popular platforms like Pandora and Spotify. Siri Eyes Free compatibility underlines a steadfast commitment to safe driving practices. But, this particular feature is only available for iPhone users and can only be enjoyed with internet connectivity.
The Pioneer MVH-S310BT boasts a sleek LED-backlit display, ensuring clarity and vividness in visuals. It has adaptable brightness controls and fixed color customization that enhances the aesthetic appeal of the device.
This single DIN non-modular unit features a VA LCD 2-Line display, promoting ease of readability and user interaction. Moreover, the thoughtful inclusion of a dimmer with timer-controlled and manual settings allows users to manage the display’s brightness effortlessly,
Its Bluetooth connectivity comes with the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) to provide superior audio quality. Its versatile compatibility is showcased by the AVRCP 1.6 and Dual Phone Connection, allowing seamless integration and management of multiple devices, ensuring flexibility and convenience for users on the go.
The Pioneer MVH-S310BT delivers an extraordinary in-car listening experience with a powerful MOSFET 50Wx4 amplifier at its core. The Advanced Sound Retriever enriches audio quality, revitalizing the clarity and vibrancy of compressed files.
Its 13-band graphic EQ is the key to audio customization, and that can also be increased to 31-bands through the Pioneer Smart Sync App. The Advanced Sound Retriever enriches audio quality, revitalizing the clarity and vibrancy of compressed files. A built-in Digital Signal Processor and 24-bit DA Converter meticulously refine sound reproduction, ensuring top-notch sound quality.
6. AboutBit 7-inch Double Din Receiver - Most Rated
If you are someone who loves to use simple and minimal products, then this double DIN would be a perfect match for you. It has all the necessary elements you would need in a head unit without over-stretching its features.
The AboutBit double DIN 7-inch 1080p touchscreen provides its users with an ample amount of view with crisp and clear visuals. It enhances the user experience by allowing quick and intuitive control, making functions like selecting songs or adjusting settings a breeze.
The brightness adjustability feature is handy on a sunny day against glares and at night to adjust low light. Users can customize the display interface according to their needs and preferences.
Its built-in Bluetooth 5.0 ensures seamless connectivity for hands-free calling and music streaming. With USB and AUX-IN ports, it offers multiple connectivity options and charging conveniences.
Phone Mirror Link technology enhances user experience by synchronizing smartphone displays and audio, which is beneficial especially for navigation. However, the technology is not compatible with the latest smartphones. Only Android 9.0 or below, iPhone XR, iPhone 8 Plus or below is compatible with the technology.
It supports front and rear camera inputs, promoting safety with automatic rear-view displays during reversing. Integrated AM/FM radio broadens media access while steering wheel control compatibility and a wireless remote offer convenient control options.
Customer feedback has raised concerns about the durability of the product. According to some users, the built quality is not up-to-mark, and there is inconsistency in the unit’s longevity and performance. However, the amount of complaints is minimal, and some customers express that it is the best double din car stereo under $100.
7. Hinine PAD2 7” Double Din Touch Screen Stereo - Best Portable
- Display size: 7-inch IPS TFT Display
- Display resolution: 1024*600
- Dimensions: 7.08 x 4.33 x 0.78 inches
- Pre-Amp Output: 6 Channel
- Power output: Not mentioned
- Aux-in: 3.5 mm
The Hinine PAD2 Dashboard Mount Smart Display is one of the most impressive additions to the modern car's audio-visual tech. It has a 7-inch IPS screen and a 2.5D capacitive touchscreen. It gives a crystal clear visual experience and makes navigation through apps or changing music tracks an absolute delight.
The modern design, combined with its full-angle screen adjustment capabilities, ensures it fits seamlessly into any car's interior, whether mounted on the dashboard or the windshield.
There is also a built-in 3-watt speaker of decent quality, but heavy bass users may need more than that. With the product, you will get regular software updates to keep your device up-to-date.
The real-time map navigation ensures you're always on the right path, while the hands-free calling keeps your hands on the wheel and your focus on the road. The device also offers a mirroring function, allowing synchronization of your phone and the stereo. Plus, the support for a reversing camera makes parking or backing up safer and more convenient, but you will have to purchase it separately.
With Bluetooth 5.0, users benefit from a faster connection speed and an incredibly stable signal. Streaming music, making and receiving calls, or using voice commands is remarkably smooth and efficient. However, some users have faced occasional problems in connecting their Bluetooth when the mobile is far from the stereo.
The addition of FM/AUX connections and two extra USB sockets further enhances its versatility. Whether you're an iPhone or Android user, you get the convenience of both wired and wireless CarPlay/Android Auto options.
However, the mount quality could have been more robust, as it wobbles on uneven surfaces. The manual is in English only, even though they promise their device is compatible with 17 languages. Again, the manual’s instructions are not clear to many users.
8. Hikity Q3162 10.1" Double Din Car Stereo - Best Large Screen
We understand if you prefer to avoid looking at tiny little things or like to scroll more than one screen at a time. If you are a multi-tasker, then this double DIN multi-tasking stereo will be a perfect match for you. You can use its split screen feature to split the screen in half and use two apps simultaneously.
The Hikity Android Car Stereo offers a mighty 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen that boasts a high-resolution display of 1024 x 600. Its screen is built using 2.5D tempered glass, which promises durability.
Furthermore, for night-time use, the buttons light up on the panel, ensuring the user has a clear view of the controls even in low-light conditions. Even though some customers complained about the touchscreen quality, it tends to perform well in most of the scenarios.
The stereo also includes a waterproof night vision reversing camera. When the vehicle is going in reverse, the car stereo automatically displays the rearview, enhancing safety during parking. Although the overall quality of the feature is not satisfactory, it is expected to be fixed in upcoming updates.
It comes with an in-built GPS module and supports both offline and online maps. The offline maps are available through the pre-installed "HereWeGo" app, but it's also compatible with many navigation apps available on the Google Play Store.
The head unit is well-equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, which allows hands-free calling, phone book sync options, and streaming music. With an external internet connection, users can effortlessly access online maps and download various useful applications from the Google Play store, such as Spotify, YouTube, and more.
The USB 2.0 interface offers mobile phone charging and connection to other USB devices. However, the need for a dedicated SD slot makes it inconvenient for some users.
The Steering Wheel Control feature requires a manual setup, but once done, you can easily control music switching, volume control, and hands-free calling. The head unit also offers a Mirror link feature to both Android and iOS smartphone users, facilitating a more prominent display for videos and other applications.
9. Podofo Q3184 7-Inch Single Din Head Unit - Best Flip Screen
Our next pick is for those who still prefer to carry an SD card for music, as this flip-out Single DIN can support SD cards up to 32 GB. It also made sure users can connect their devices using Auxiliary, USB, and RCA connector types, ensuring versatility in user experience.
This unit is well-equipped in the connectivity department. With Bluetooth 4.2, users can quickly and effortlessly pair their devices for hands-free calling, music playback, and phonebook downloads. But, the Bluetooth connection is not without flaws. The device loses connection occasionally and often requires re-pairing or system shutdown.
The Podofo car radio boasts a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen that provides clear visuals with a resolution of 1080P. The adjustable seven-color key backlights are a unique touch, allowing users to customize their experience.
The rear-view camera input is a beneficial integration feature, which not only enhances safety during reversing but also offers a wide-angle view, night vision, and IP68 waterproof rating.
Podofo's car radio takes integration up a notch with its support for Android/iPhone mirror link compatibility (covering Android system 12 and Apple system iOS15.6). This feature allows users to seamlessly display their phone screen on the radio's display, making it ideal for navigation, entertainment, and other essential apps. However, the features have specific limitations as not all video apps like YouTube or Amazon Prime are supported.
The car stereo offers a digital FM radio receiver with 18 presets, providing various listening options. But, the stereo lacks stable tuning. Some users have mentioned that the stereo changes station on its own.
Users can enjoy the Steering Wheel Control functionality, which enhances safety and convenience by allowing users to manage the radio without removing their hands from the wheel. By the way, if you're looking for more flip-out car stereo options, check out our in-depth guide, which features ten fantastic choices, including this one.
10. BOSS BV6658B 1 Din Stereo System - Best for Remote Control
Under $100, it is a great remote-controlled stereo money can buy. You can idly lie in your back seat and rest while controlling the head unit with the in-box remote control.
That is not all.
The unit boasts advanced Bluetooth profiles, including A2DP, AVRCP, and HFP. These profiles ensure compatibility and enhanced functionality with a variety of devices. Apart from Bluetooth, users can also use the USB port to access a wide range of audio files or plug in their devices using the auxiliary input.
A built-in 1A USB charger lets you charge your gadgets at your convenience. Although having these popular connectivity options, users may still be disappointed with not having any HDMI port.
Media Playback supports multiple formats like MP3 and WMA, catering to different user preferences. However, the USB playback and related menu interface are underperforming some consumer expectations.
The inclusion of AM/FM radio further provides users with diverse entertainment options, ensuring they're always in choices.
The "Push To Talk" feature stands out, allowing users to connect to their Android and IOS assistants simply by pushing a button. This ensures quick access to information without distractions.
The BOSS Audio BV6658B features an LCD display, which provides clear visualization and interaction. Its user interface supports Blu-Ray media, an added advantage for those who still indulge in physical media for entertainment.
With Bluetooth technology integrated, the unit allows for seamless wireless connections with smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. This ensures that users can make and receive calls hands-free, essential for driving safety.
Moreover, the built-in microphone ensures clear voice capture, while the car speakers relay the person's voice on the other end, making conversations crisp and clear.
Some users have pointed out that the remote has a minimal range of 3 feet for operation, questioning the remote’s functionality. If you need to operate far from the head unit, you may face significant problems.
But there is nothing to worry about. The amount of complaints is not significant in number. But, we advise you to claim your product from an authentic dealer, as some dealer shops provide up to 3 years of warranty.
Which brand’s car stereo is the best?
There is no direct answer to this query. The "best" car stereo brand can be subjective and depends on individual preferences, needs, and budget. To find the best for you, you should always check out for product reviews and customer feedback.
Are cheap car radios under $100 any good?
With lacking some advanced features, cheap car radios car offer basic functionality and may be suitable for users with minimal requirements. Some cheaper products may have lower build quality and not deliver optimum sound compared to their high-end counterparts. So, it is absolute to know what you want if you are short in budget. After that you should go for the stereo that meets your specific requirements.
How essential is car stereo for sound quality?
The car stereo is vital for a vehicle's audio quality. It connects the user to the audio system and supplies the signal for amplifiers and speakers. While a top-notch stereo enhances sound through superior processing and output, the overall audio quality also relies on elements like speakers, amplifiers, and the car's internal acoustics.
To know more about what stereo does as well as other audio components, have a look at Popular Car Audio Components Explained.
We have hand-picked these head units with a hundred hours of careful research and customer feedback so that you can make your ultimate decision with ease.
Our in-depth review of the products will help you understand your requirements and the product’s limitations in fulfilling them. While doing the review, we also took good care of the budget constraints, as all of our selected items are under $100, nailing the pricing range.
No Doubt! We have got you the best car stereos under $100. So, rest your mind and happy purchasing.
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