Most car cassettes players on older cars are no longer up to date. Besides the fact we can not find any tapes or CDs with songs, now we use Android or Apple smartphones to play music in the car.
In the guide below I will show you how to choose a great car mp3 and what are the features to be careful when you buy.
How do I choose a good car mp3 player?
We’ll take it one by one. From size and menu colors to audio and connectivity features.
Best Mp3 car player depending on the car brand
I think an aftermarket mp3 player needs to fit well into your car. From design to display illumination.
We have 2 types of media players depending on the size of the unit.
First, we have 1DIN players, the standard you find on most cars, and then – 2DIN players, double-sized that replaces a larger standard unit of the car.
- The size of 1 DIN Mp3 player: 178 x 50mm (7 x 2 inches)
- The size of 2 DIN Mp3 player: 178 x 100mm (7 x 4 inches)
Depending on what you installed on the machine at the factory, you will choose 1DIN or 2DIN.
Then you’ll need a fascia adapter
Many cars need a plate( fascia) for the new car mp3 player to fit in the same place at the factory one without gaps.
Whether we are talking about an mp3 player for Audi, BMW or Mercedes – find a compatible fascia for the aftermarket stereo you bought.
The illumination is important if you want to have uniformity. If your car has red lights for the instrument cluster, it is best to choose a car radio player that has a compatible light.
For cars that have custom or not so common dashboard lights, choose a car mp3 with variable illumination.
They are a little more expensive but they allow you to change the color of the display in any hue you want. One such good mp3 player is the Alpine UT-92BT.
The best mp3 radio auto – power and sound quality
The second most important criterion is the stereo power of the car player.
If you go to a known brand such as Pioneer, Alpine or Sony, you do not have to worry. The majority have enough power for a strong and clean sound on standard car speakers or aftermarket ones.
The typical power seen on a car player is 4 x 50w RMS, but the real one is somewhere at 4 x 20W. Enough for decent sound.
Good players also have performance sound processors that amplify certain frequencies deficient in songs. Most songs are in a compressed digital format, so it needs such an option.
If you choose a cheaper mp3 player, know the low quality and volume of the sound could disappoint you.
They build these cheap mp3 players with low-quality sound processors and cannot provide quality sound. Just to listen to the news and some noise in the car – a cheap player is enough for you.
Basically, a good player will have the same audio quality at high volume and low volumes and will reproduce bass and high frequencies very well.
No name media players have large distortions at high volumes and can not reproduce the sound in the speakers well.
Playing songs and connectivity
Most players play MP3, but others also allow playback of FLAC audio files that have higher audio quality.
Next, if you want the best, you’ll choose a USB auto player with Bluetooth connectivity.
CD players are out of date and are bulkier. A USB player is much easier and has half the size of a standard one allowing easy installation in the car.
A USB auto player can play songs from USB sticks and even external hard drives if our audio library is very large.
What about Bluetooth car players?
The best car media players can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allow you to play songs from your phone’s internal memory or from Youtube.
My advice would be to increase your purchase budget and buy a Bluetooth capable car mp3 player. No more searching and downloading every time you want new songs, just open Youtube and play the latest music in your car.
Bluetooth radios have other advantages. The most important advantage is hands-free calling, allowing you to make and receive phone calls.
It’s a feature you can’t miss.
Audio and auxiliary outputs
If you want to upgrade your entire audio system, then buy a car player that has auxiliary outputs for the amplifier and subwoofer.
And also have controls for the subwoofer’s volume.
A player with auxiliary outputs allows you to connect stronger loudspeakers and amplifier but also a subwoofer for powerful low-frequency audio playback.
For a complete sound, this is the best solution.
Settings and options for a good car player
Top-notch mp3 players have a lot of customized controls for audio, giving you the tools to get a high-quality sound in your car. Many good players also have Android or Apple apps that allow you to configure sound from your smartphone.
Advanced audio settings help you set each speaker to sound as good as it could.
For example, setting a cut-off frequency of 80 Hz for front speakers – that means the speakers will not play below 80 Hz, and you will eliminate distortions because the factory speakers can play only medium and high frequencies.
Or, you can set the subwoofer’s maximum frequency to 120 Hz. Thus, the subwoofer will only playback the low sounds without playing over 120 Hz.
There are many settings and many audio configurations with a quality player. It depends on your budget and what you want as audio quality. Only volume or quality? You decide.
Good Mp3 Car Player – Steering Wheel Commands
The best media players for a car, also allow the use of factory steering wheel controls. For that, you must buy an adapter cable depending on your car brand – Opel, VW, Audi, BMW, etc.
Once you connect the adapter to the factory plug and your new mp3 player, you can use the controls on the steering wheel you also use on the standard cassette.
The Alpine UT-92BT is such a player that can be used with steering wheel controls.
Top Best Car Players
To make it easier, we chose the best car players in our vision, which somehow embraces everything we said above. Our choices are:
Alpine UTE-92BT is our first choice.
This mp3 player has it all.
- 150000 colour variations, so it integrates perfectly with climate illumination and all other controls.
- Steering Wheel Remote control ready
- Android App for tuning your sound
- Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and media streaming.
- Active crossover – you can adjust every speaker separately
- Phone battery indicator when connected via Bluetooth, phone agenda enabled on head unit
The second player is one with a decent price but offering the best features. And also has USB and Bluetooth.
- Bluetooth connectivity for music playback on your phone
- Very good sound, low frequencies played very well on standard car speakers
- Output for subwoofer or amplifier
- USB and the auxiliary input to connect your smartphone or external memory
Sony MEX-N5200BT CD Receiver with Bluetooth
Last but not least, the Sony player is the perfect choice for those who want a strong sound and futuristic design. The price is acceptable and this good car media player will certainly be on your taste.
It can connect with 2 smartphones, can be controlled by voice and provide powerful bass thanks to the high-performance audio processor.
- Variable illumination
- Connectivity with one or two handsets and hands-free
- NFC connectivity, faster than Bluetooth
- Voice control of the media player
- MP3, FLAC and WAV playback