Best Pioneer Car Stereos

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

56 Models Considered
16 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
162 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best pioneer car stereos

Pioneer has been manufacturing and producing electronics for more than 80 years, and they are one of the best when it comes to car stereos. If you’re interested in improving the overall quality of your car’s sound system or simply want to add more robust features, then more often than not, aftermarket stereos are the direction to go – with Pioneer leading the way.

Pioneer stereos offer more power and features than most factory systems while still providing the bells and whistles you’ll get in most new cars, like Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone compatibility, and navigation controls. If you’re in the market for a new Pioneer car stereo, our guide has everything you need to know.

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The right installation kit will ensure that your Pioneer car stereo remains secure, looks good in the dash, and can plug directly into your factory wiring with as few issues as possible.

Key considerations

When shopping for a Pioneer car stereo, there are a few things you’ll need to consider first. Understanding what size and type of stereo system you need for your car’s make and model will go a long way toward helping you make your decision. You’ll also need to make sure your speakers can adequately support the power and features that come with your new stereo.

Size

When it comes to size, you have two options to choose from: single-DIN (2” x 8”) or double-DIN (4” x 8”) car stereos. DIN refers to the size of the opening that the car stereo fits into. Single DIN and double DIN are industry standards.

Type

There are three different types of Pioneer car stereos. CD receivers are the most common type of car stereo. These systems play CDs and include the basic components like a radio tuner. They also feature AUX and USB inputs for external devices.

DVD receivers not only play CDs but DVDs as well. They typically feature large touchscreen displays that not only allow you to watch videos and view album art but also control your audio and communicate with your smartphone.

Digital media receivers do away with the CD player. Instead, they stream music via your smartphone or digital music player.

Car make and model

Before making your purchase, you’ll want to consider your car’s make and model. This will make things much easier when it comes time to install your stereo. Whether you go with a professional or attempt to install the system yourself, there are plenty of resources that can guide you in the right direction, but they require the make and model of your car to do so.

Speaker performance

If you’re upgrading your stereo because you’re looking for a more powerful sound system, then you’ll want to make sure that your current factory speakers can output the enhanced sound quality that comes with a Pioneer car stereo. If you really want to experience all your new stereo has to offer, you may want to consider aftermarket speakers as well.

Features

Bluetooth connectivity

Many states prohibit drivers from talking or texting on their phones while behind the wheel. This makes Bluetooth connectivity an important feature in any vehicle. Most Pioneer car stereos allow for Bluetooth pairing and hands-free functionality while driving.

iOS/Android compatibility

While most Pioneer car stereos have Bluetooth connectivity and hands-free calling, in order to fully connect your iOS or Android device to your car’s stereo, the stereo will need to support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Most common on touchscreen stereo systems, these apps give users control over their phones right from the car’s dash.

Enhanced audio

Pioneer boasts some of the most powerful audio-enhancing features on the market. From powerful amplifiers to graphic equalizers to advanced track control, Pioneer is head of the class when it comes to giving users complete control over their car’s sound system.

Accessories

To support the incredible sound control, some Pioneer stereo systems come with additional accessories like remote controls and earbuds. Remote controls give non-touchscreen receivers increased functionality, and earbuds work great for stereos without wireless capabilities.

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For your safety
Most Pioneer car stereos with screens won’t allow you to watch DVDs while your car is in motion. Though there are resources that show users how to bypass this safety feature, it’s not recommended for obvious reasons.
STAFF
BestReviews

Price

Inexpensive Pioneer car stereos cost $50 to $150 and provide users with some great features, though they tend to keep things simple. In this price range, don’t expect to find any large stereos. You’ll be limited to AUX and USB inputs at the bottom of this range, and though there are some models that include touchscreens, they won’t play DVDs. What you can expect here is CD or digital media support and Pioneer’s high-quality sound and control, which is a great place to start if you’re on a budget.

If you’re looking for DVD support, all the basic hands-free features, and have a few extra dollars to spend, you’ll be able to find a do-it-all Pioneer car stereo for $150 to $200. These systems boast large touchscreens and support CDs, DVDs, and digital audio playback. You should also have no problem streaming music from your Android or Apple device.

The most expensive Pioneer car stereos not only have all the top-notch features, but they also deliver them in style. For $200 and over, you’ll find stereo systems with large high-resolution screens, flip-out displays, and all the compatibility you need to support your car’s factory applications and your personal devices.

Tips

  • Although it’s possible to install a Pioneer car stereo yourself, it’s much safer and more efficient to spend a few extra bucks for professional installation. That way you can ensure everything works properly, and in the event that you need additional parts, a car audio professional will be able to find them for you.
  • Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, you’ll need the proper mounting kit for the installation of your Pioneer car stereo.
  • If you don’t have a huge budget for a touchscreen and wireless streaming, stick your phone in a cradle and utilize the AUX input on your Pioneer car stereo.
"Touchscreen Pioneer car stereos typically have built-in apps like streaming services and graphic equalizers to increase the audio and media capabilities of your stereo system."
STAFF
BestReviews
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Pioneer car stereos support most Apple devices, but not all models support Android devices and Android Auto. Be sure to check the stereo’s specifications if you’re an Android user.

FAQ

Q. Will my new Pioneer car stereo work with my old steering wheel controls?
A.
Controlling your new car stereo with your factory steering wheel controls may require an additional adapter to make sure the buttons map correctly.

Q. Are Pioneer car stereos compatible with factory features like satellite radio or the car’s built-in navigation system?
A.
Not always. It depends entirely on the car’s make and model and the stereo system’s capabilities. However, features like satellite radio or navigation can be accessed through your phone’s Apple CarPlay or Android Auto app.

Q. Are there Pioneer car stereos that support backup cameras?
A.
Yes, though you’ll need a stereo system with a screen that supports video. You’ll also need to ensure the Pioneer car stereo is compatible with your car’s make and model.

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