Getting into a modern car in today’s world, you don’t question the fact that there will be a radio. You’d expect it to be Bluetooth compatible, DAB stations, have Apple CarPlay or Andriod Auto, and more than likely have some sort of screen - probably a touchscreen.
It’s not always been the case though, with many older cars still housing a CD player, remember those?! Having good audio in your car can make a good road trip a great one and with an ever-tightening of the purse strings, we’ve had a look at the best options you can buy for under £100.
Looking for more always to spruce up your car? Read the CAR guide to modernising older vehicles here.
Stereo sizes explained
You’ll see the abbreviation DIN in your search for a new stereo - this refers to the stereo’s chassis, as car stereos come in two standard sizes. Single DIN refers to two inches tall and seven inches wide stereos. Double DIN refers to stereos that are four inches tall and seven inches wide. Your car may be able to accept both sizes, but you can’t tell just by looking at the front of the vehicle.
Double DINs are double the size so generally speaking they have more room for controls and are easier to use.
The best car radios under £100
This Single DIN stereo features a slide-out seven-inch HD capacitive touchscreen that is Bluetooth compatible so you can make hands-free calls and stream music, there is a USB port and SD slot for music and videos.
The unit is also ready for your rearview camera, which will display on the screen and support steering wheel control if you can control audio from your steering wheel.
The unit features; 4 x 45w power outputs, programmable playback, Build-in Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP/Hands-Free, Electronic Encode Volume Control, Back Camera Input, 5 preset EQ: Jazz/Pop/Rock/Classic/User, Volume/fader/balance control, Steering Wheel Control and a Multi-Function Remote Control.
A small 4.1 inch capacitive Touch Screen will display everything you need to widen your audio options. There are two USB, TF card and AUX-in port, rear microphone input and an all important subwoofer output.
The stereo is ready for the HD reversing camera, which will spring into action once you have selected reverse gear. Other features are; multiple playback modes: USB/Bluetooth/TF/AUX so that you can play your favourite music or video on this car radio. At the same time, this car radio also has two USB ports, one of which supports fast mobile phone charging.
A Double DIN seven inch LCD Touchscreen with classic volume knob and buttons, built-in Bluetooth and a microphone for handsfree calls with Mirror Link for Andriod users (4.0 – 7.0 system). There is a rearview camera, which is included – this will activate when you select reverse gear and display it on the seven-inch screen.
If you want something a little bit more classic looking and do not want to have big fold-out screens then maybe this from Alpine is for you.
You can connect your iPhone or iPod via USB cable; the UTE-200BT has a high-quality Bluetooth module built-in, allowing you to make phone calls safely and legally while you drive. If you have an Android-based phone or tablet, you can connect it via USB to your Alpine head unit to enjoy the audio content through your car speakers.
If you want to take your favourite voice-activated assistant into your car, the JVC KD-X372BT Car Stereo with Alexa is the perfect solution. Available exclusively at Halfords, this intelligent car stereo lets the driver make calls, play music, ask questions, control other smart devices and stay connected on the move.
Ask Alexa to put on a podcast, read the news, check traffic and control your smart heating controls completely hands-free. The “Alexa built-in” feature of this stereo directly connects to the Alexa App on your smartphone, so you can use Alexa whilst listening to your favourite songs from your CDs, smartphone or radio station.
The Pioneer MVH-S240BT Car Stereo is a single din mech-free Bluetooth and USB combined stereo that sets new standards in terms of audio performance and connectivity. Nevertheless, it’s straightforward to use and control. Bluetooth connectivity allows for safe and convenient hands-free calling and wireless music streaming from your smartphone.
Thanks to Pioneer’s unique Advanced Sound Retriever technology, the sound quality will be close to the original recording. You can even connect two Bluetooth phones simultaneously. For smartphone users, simply connect your iPhone or Android smartphone wirelessly (via Bluetooth) and safely enjoy Spotify (both for Free and Premium Spotify users) or the Pioneer Smart Sync app, which will take your smartphone to a whole new level.