Alpine is a renowned maker of high-end car stereos found in luxury vehicles like BMW, Honda, Dodge, Porsche, to name a few.
Since 1978, they have been manufacturing car stereos with a range of features to meet all drivers’ needs. Across the globe, they rank among the top 5 stereo manufacturers in terms of sales.
Alpine uses high-grade materials to manufacture its head units, making them very reliable and durable. There is no denying that Alpine’s products are among the best available in the market today.
With an extensive range of car stereos to suit their customers’ different needs and preferences, they offer everything from Bluetooth connectivity to digital media players with voice control.
In this article, we extensively review the 8 best Alpine head units. This range of devices will meet anyone’s car stereo demands. So, without wasting any time, have a read!
Best Alpine Head Unit in 2021- Quick Summary
The best Alpine head unit is not a one-size-fits-all. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to read the whole review section, you can take a look at the summary where we have discussed the stereos in a tiny brief.
1. Best Alpine Single-DIN Head Unit: Alpine CDE-175BT Car Stereo
This car stereo is the best Alpine single-DIN head unit for us because it offers features like Bluetooth, USB, works with Pandora & SiriusXM, and comes with a CD player. It is easy to install on any single-DIN compatible dash. Plus, it delivers excellent sound quality for its price.
2. Best Alpine Double-DIN Head Unit: Alpine ILX-W650 7″ Mech-Less Receiver
Our best Alpine double-DIN head unit is the ILX-W650. This is because it is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, has a 7” touchscreen, and has a plethora of useful features.
3. Best for sound quality: Alpine UTE-73BT Digital Media Receiver
This stereo produces detailed highs and lows sound without any distortion so that you can enjoy every note of your favorite song as clearly as possible. When compared with others, it delivers superior sound quality. You can also make a lot of customization to its sound output to tailor it to your listening preference.
4. Best for Aesthetics: Alpine Single-DIN iLX-F309 HALO9 9″ Receiver
This is the Alpine head unit to choose if you want your car interior to look sleek and stylish. It features a flush display and intuitive controls, and it will add luxury to your car’s interior and transform your driving experience.
5. Best Only Android: Alpine CDE-170 In-Dash Single DIN Car Stereo
This Alpine car stereo sound quality can compete with the UTE-73BT but it can only connect with an android phone. And some other features might differ.
6. Best for Navigation: Alpine INE-W960HDMI Car Stereo
The INE-W960HDMI is the best car stereo for navigation because it comes preloaded with real-time maps of different countries. It also has a 6.1″ touchscreen display that’s super responsive and is bright and easy to read.
7. Best Average: Alpine CDE-172BT Single-DIN Car Stereo
This stereo features a lot of bells and whistles for a reasonable price, making it ideal for individuals who want to update but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
8. Best Stereo with Built-in DAB: Alpine CDE-151 Single DIN Car Receiver
If you want to listen to local radio stations and get weather updates whenever needed, this is the Alpine car stereo to get.
Top 3 Alpine Car Stereos Comparison Table
8 Best Alpine Head Unit- Details Review
Here we go in detail-
1. Alpine CDE-175BT, Single-DIN CD Car Stereo
The Alpine CDE-175BT Single-DIN CD car stereo is a great buy for any car. It has a CD player for playing your classic music CD collections.
This car stereo comes equipped with powerful Bluetooth wireless technology and an external microphone for phone calls and voice commands. The Bluetooth also allows playback of various music files, audio streaming from Android and IOS smartphones. Plus,
The Alpine CDE-175BT comes SiriusXM-Ready and works with Pandora. However, you’ll need the SiriusXM connect vehicle tuner kit and SiriusXM subscription, which are both sold separately.
It has three preset bands for satellite radio, allowing you to assign up to 18 SiriusXM stations to the faceplate buttons.
Connecting a USB flash drive to its USB port for playing your favorite customized music and connecting external audio devices like MP3 to the front panel AUX are other ways you can play music/audio with this stereo.
Alpine used their new and improved one-line RGB lighting LCD in this stereo. The LCD offers five times the contrast of a standard screen, making it easy to read. It displays song titles, artist names, and radio station names (if available).
The sound quality of this unit is crisp and clear with less distortion thanks to the 24-bit DAC, built-in 18W x 4 amplifier, bass engine, 3-band parametric EQ for adjusting music levels, and the high pass/low pass crossover for protecting and managing the proper frequencies for your speakers.
It also has a 6-channel time correction to control the built-in amplifier. At the rear side of the car stereo are three preamp outputs (5-volt front, rear, subwoofer) for hooking up speakers and an amplifier if need be.
The Alpine CDE-175BT Single-DIN CD car stereo installs easily in any dashboard that supports single DIN stereos. Plus, it comes with a wiring harness.
- This car stereo has 3 (5V) pre-outs.
- It comes with a CD player for playing traditional music.
- It installs easily on single-DIN compatible dashboards.
- The LCD offers five times the contrast of a standard screen.
- Alpine equipped the stereo with technologies to produce excellent sound.
2. Alpine ILX-W650 7″ Mech-Less Receiver
If you’re in the market for a new Alpine car stereo, you should consider this double DIN Alpine ILX-W650 receiver. This 7″ mech-less unit has garnered a lot of positive attention since its release. It offers features and performance that are hard to beat at its price point.
The Alpine ILX-W650 is a top-of-the-line mechless receiver. It features a big 7” anti-glare WVGA display with a capacitive touchscreen that allows you to navigate through its plethora of features using finger swipes.
For instance, you could Swipe up, down, left, or right on the touchscreen to change the volume. You could also forward/next, backward/previous, and pause music or audio with two-finger swipe gestures. Install a front/rear camera in your vehicle to monitor your driving via the screen.
This car stereo combines the best of Apple Carplay and Android Auto connection with voice control, allowing iPhone and Android users to make and receive calls, send and receive texts, listen to music, and navigate with ease while driving.
You can access Apple Carplay using the touchscreen or the mic button to engage Siri voice control. Say “OK Google” or press the mic button for Android Auto. Be informed that you need to use an Apple lightning cable to link it with your iPhone to avoid connection issues.
The Alpine ILX-W650 equipped Bluetooth technology offers hands-free calling and audio streaming for all your favorite apps like Spotify, HD radio, SiriusXM, and Pandora. This unit also has an auxiliary input for connecting audio/video devices, such as CD players or MP3 players. It can play FLAC files at a bitrate of 24/96 kHz through USB.
This car radio has a 9-band parametric equalizer and 6-channel time correction technology to regulate the built-in subwoofer level controller. The sound quality is decent, however, there is a lack of loudness in its delivery.
Thankfully, Alpine included three sets of 4V preamp outputs for attaching an extra amplifier to boost sound quality. The ILX-W650 is 2.4″ deep, allowing it to fit into vehicles with a small space below the dashboard. However, it doesn’t come with a wiring harness.
- This car stereo is so simple and easy to use with very intuitive controls that are responsive.
- You can use finger swipes to navigate its plethora of functions on its 7″ display.
- There are three sets of 4V preamp outputs for connecting more amplifiers.
- It supports Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity.
- It doesn’t come with a wiring harness.
- It encounters some connectivity issues now and then with the Android Auto feature.
- The sound of this car stereo isn’t loud.
3. Alpine UTE-73BT Advanced Bluetooth Mech-Less Digital Media Receiver
The Alpine single-DIN UTE-73BT advanced Bluetooth mech-less digital media receiver is a high-quality receiver with many features to make your car ride more enjoyable. It features a full-color LCD that includes a 1,280 x 480 resolution with a one-line RGB illumination for your choice of display color.
The advanced Bluetooth of this car stereo provides better music and sound control compared to basic Bluetooth audio streaming. It also allows you to make and receive quality hands-free calls with the built-in microphone.
This model has two rear USB ports to play music from a USB drive or charge your smartphone while driving!
Its one-touch access to Pandora radio is perfect for listening to your favorite music on the go. The built-in HD radio tuner will allow you to enjoy local FM broadcasts from across the country free of charge! Alpine included an auxiliary input on the front panel for connecting a mobile media player.
Expect nothing but the finest when it comes to sound quality from this Alpine UTE-73BT because it utilizes a 24-bit DAC for the best sound quality. You can fine-tune your sound system with the 3-band parametric EQ and high/low pass crossover.
Designed with easy installation in mind, you don’t need any tool to install it. All you need is your hands and about 15 minutes. Plus, it comes with the wiring harness you need.
- This car stereo sound quality is top-notch.
- You won’t spend more than 15 minutes installing it.
- It comes with advanced Bluetooth technology that provides better music and sound control.
- It is not durable.
4. Alpine Single-DIN iLX-F309 HALO9 9″ Receiver
The Alpine ILX-F309 HALO9 receiver is a top-of-the-line, premium 9″ car receiver designed with the modern driver in mind. Boasting features like CarPlay and Android Auto, this unit provides drivers with different options for staying connected on the go.
With a sleek, flush display and intuitive controls, it’s easy to see why this unit is one of Alpine’s most popular models. The screen floats above or in front of the dash, and the back casing tapers smoothly at the corners for a slim and sleek aesthetic.
Thanks to the different mounting positions of the screen, you can position it so that it doesn’t obstruct other items on the dash, such as air vents and radio controls.
The Alpine ILX-F309 HALO9 touchscreen lets you personalize the display to your liking. With over 22 widgets to choose from, you can organize your three home screens to find the apps you want quickly.
Use fingers movement to drag and drop an app icon with your finger on the capacitive touchscreen. Its powerful Bluetooth connectivity allows you to make and receive high-quality hands-free calls and listen to music without interruption.
Furthermore, it works with Pandora internet radio, comes SiriusXM-ready, and features a built-in HD radio tuner with song titles, album art, and station information. This car stereo has a feature called “My Favorites” that lets you build unique shortcuts to your favorite audio sources, applications, phone numbers, and other services.
Alpine equipped it with an HDMI input for connecting a CD/DVD player and a USB port for playing music from a flash drive & your phone.
What truly makes the HALO9 stand out is its compatibility with the iDatalink Maestro module that displays vehicle information such as tire pressure, steering wheel controls, engine codes, and HVAC control on its screen. However, you will have to pay extra for the iDatalink Maestro module.
This receiver’s built-in 18W x 4 amplifier, bass engine, 3-band parametric EQ, and subwoofer level control assure crisp, clear sound all of the time. The built-in 18W x 4 amplifier, bass engine, 3-band parametric EQ, and subwoofer level control of this receiver ensure it produces crisp, clean sound always.
There are three preamp outputs on the car system (5-volt front, rear, subwoofer) for connecting an amplifier if you want to. Installing it in any single-DIN compatible dashboard is as simple as ABC.
- This car stereo aesthetic design is amazing.
- Its 9” touchscreen is very responsive and easy to navigate.
- It is compatible with the iDatalink Maestro module to display vehicle information.
- It has all of the bells & whistles and sounds great too.
- The Carplay map is quite bright on the screen, therefore you might not see it.
5. Alpine CDE-170 In-Dash Single DIN Car Stereo
The Alpine CDE-170 In-Dash single-DIN car stereo is an excellent choice for Android users only. It doesn’t have Bluetooth, but it does have an Android AOA control built-in that lets users play MP3, WMA, and FLAC audio files from Android smartphones and USB drives through the USB port.
This USB connection charges selected Android devices. It also comes with a CD player for CD playback of your favorite music in CD formats. And AM/FM RDS tuner.
This single-DIN receiver 1-line high-contrast LCD with white lighting and red buttons makes it easy to use. Its 24-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC), bass engine SQ button with five bass profiles, and high/low-pass filters with the subwoofer volume control contribute to its excellent sound quality.
Plus, it has 3-band parametric equalizer with 11 preset EQ settings for customizing music to your listening preference.
Most OEM steering wheel audio controls are compatible with the Alpine CDE-170. However, it will require you to purchase the PAC ControlPRO or the Axxess ASWC-1. You can connect any audio device to the car stereo with the front auxiliary input.
And use the 4-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front and subwoofer) to connect an amplifier or hook up speakers. Alpine offers a remote control as an option.
- It works perfectly for Android users.
- It comes with a CD player.
- Installation is a straightforward process.
- The sound quality of this car stereo is great.
- It has no Bluetooth.
- It doesn’t work with iPhones.
6. Alpine INE-W960HDMI Car Stereo
The Alpine INE-W960HDMI car stereo is a high-end head unit that can accommodate your needs for both audio and video. This car stereo has a 6.1” touchscreen display that grants you a wide view and easy control of all its functions.
A built-in HD radio keeps you up to speed on the latest news and sports scores. And it has an HDMI input, so you can connect it to any of your favorite external audio devices to listen to your customized music. There’s a CD player for playing your traditional music in CD formats.
This car stereo features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair it wirelessly with any compatible device and access music streaming services such as Spotify or Pandora.
The Bluetooth works with an external wired microphone to enable you to make/receive hands-free clear, convenient calls without distractions when driving. It’s also SiriusXM compatible and comes with a SiriusXM SXV300 car tuner preloaded with three months of complimentary subscriptions.
The Alpine INE-W960HDMI car stereo stands out from the lot with its amazing navigation features. Alpine includes preset maps of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands on built-in flash memory.
The map also includes 3D mapping, turn-by-turn arrow navigation, and text-to-speech delivery directions in English, Spanish, or French. So, with it installed in your vehicle, you won’t get lost ever again.
This car radio sounds quite comparable to all of the Alpine devices on our list in terms of sound quality. It contains a 9-band parametric equalizer that allows you to tune music to your preferences. There are three sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear, and subwoofer) for connecting speakers and an extra amplifier if necessary.
It also comes with a steering wheel control, but you’ll need either the PAC ControlPRO or the Axxess ASWC-1 (both offered separately) to operate it. If you have a rearview camera, you may use the screen to monitor feed when parking to help you park securely.
- The radio is great for navigation.
- It comes SiriusXM ready and with SiriusXM SXV300 vehicle tuner preloaded with 3 months free subscriptions.
- It has 3 sets of 4V preamp outputs.
- This car stereo has HDMI input for cutting external audio & video players.
- It doesn’t have a USB input.
7. Alpine CDE-172BT Single-DIN Car Stereo
Alpine car stereos are available in all shapes and sizes. But when you need one with all the essential features without taking up a lot of space, the Alpine CDE-172BT is an excellent option.
This single-DIN car stereo has everything you need to keep your music listening experience enjoyable on the go. Plus, it’s loaded with features that make it easy to use, even for first-timers.
The Alpine CDE-172BT has a CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, an AM/FM tuner, a front USB port for playing FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC music files, and a front AUX connector for connecting any MP3 player or any other audio device.
It even includes an external microphone for answering calls via Bluetooth or recording voice memos. Thanks to the 1-line, high-contrast LCD with RGB illumination, you won’t experience issues reading texts or locating buttons at all times.
This Alpine car stereo lets you operate Pandora directly from your dashboard with any iPhone or Android phone. With Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down buttons on the faceplate and QuickSearch functions, you can listen to your favorite Pandora stations via USB or stream wirelessly. The AM/FM tuner included in this unit has RBDS information.
The Alpine CDE-172BT car stereo lets you set crossover adjustments between high and low frequencies. It has a built-in 18W x 4 amplifier, 3-band parametric EQ, 24-bit DAC, and a bass engine SQ.
Alpine equipped it with three 4V of preamp outputs, which means you’ll be able to connect it directly to an aftermarket amplifier (KTP-445A Power Pack).
If your vehicle has factory-installed Bluetooth steering wheel control, you can control the stereo with it. If it doesn’t, using a third-party adaptor is an alternative. Installing this car stereo to any single-DIN compatible dash is easy, but it doesn’t come with a wiring harness. So, you’ll have to purchase one separately. However, the stereo is reasonably priced.
- It is inexpensive and offers excellent value for money.
- The sound quality of this car stereo is commendable.
- The Bluetooth connects fast to both iPhones and Android devices.
- Its bright LCD and color lighting provides clear visibility all day long.
- It doesn’t come with a wiring harness.
8. Alpine CDE-151 Single DIN Car Receiver
The Alpine CDE-151 single-DIN car receiver is a budget-friendly choice for most consumers who want to enjoy their music on the go without any hassle. It doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity capability but comes with a CD player, a front USB input for connecting an iOS/Android device, and Pandora ready.
In addition, this model has a built-in AM/FM tuner so you can listen to local radio stations and also get weather updates whenever needed! There’s also a front AUX input for connecting an MP3 player.
Furthermore, its LCD with a red color makes it easy for you to see texts and other functions clearly when driving. It quickly installs in most single-DIN vehicles without any additional wiring necessary.
Thanks to the vehicle stereo’s 50W x 4 channel MAX and 18W x 4 channel RMS, you’ll get crystal clear sound without sacrificing performance. Plus, you can connect an additional amplifier using the 2 sets of 2V preamp outputs it comes with.
- It is budget-friendly and bangs for the buck.
- The sound quality is clear.
- It is easy to install.
- It doesn’t come with Bluetooth.
What to Consider Before Buying an Alpine Head Unit
Alpine head units have always been a top choice for many car audio enthusiasts around the world. A new Alpine unit can provide you with a range of features and functions that go above and beyond what your factory radio offered or could offer.
This is not to say that aftermarket heads are right for everyone, nor is it to imply that factory radios are inferior.
However, certain levels of technology simply do not exist in more basic stereos, particularly those found in older cars. In order to make sure that an Alpine deck will suit your needs going forward, here are a few things to consider when buying one:
1 – Do You Even Need An Aftermarket Head Unit?
This might seem like a silly question, but it’s important to consider whether or not an Alpine head unit is really the right choice for you.
Now, this isn’t to say that aftermarket heads are bad, but this article will discuss in more detail later on just why they may be better than factory units in most cases.
If you can get by with your factory radio, it might be worth considering simply upgrading your speakers and amplifiers before buying a replacement head unit entirely.
After all, some speaker sets can produce an astonishing amount of sound from even basic factory components. Upgrading those speakers without a new deck may open up considerable space in your budget as well if you can avoid having to pay for both at once.
2 – Determine Your Exact Needs
So what makes aftermarket car audio different from stock? Well, for starters, they offer a significantly higher level of sound quality. They’re also more efficient and produce much clearer output as well.
In addition to this, you can expect things like built-in Bluetooth, Wifi, or other wireless technology for hands-free calling or streaming your favorite tunes without wires.
Most Alpine units have features that go above and beyond the capabilities of a basic factory unit as well.
That said, you’ll want to think about exactly what kinds of features will work best for you before buying a deck specifically so that you don’t spend money on something that won’t suit your needs going forward.
For instance, it’s helpful to decide if front USB ports are really necessary considering how many vehicle models already have them built-in. In many cases, the USB ports on a factory deck are already more than enough to connect with your phone or other mobile devices anyway.
3 – Think About The Manufacturer’s Warranty
In some ways, this is an obvious consideration when buying any kind of aftermarket product.
However, in the case of car audio, it’s especially important because most Alpine units come equipped with a standard three-year warranty that covers anything and everything that might go wrong with the head unit itself. This is something that you won’t find from most manufacturers, including those who make factory replacement decks too.
In short, if one were to fail for whatever reason within three years of purchase, both you and the manufacturer would have contractual to work together to resolve the issue.
4 – What Kind Of Installation Will You Need?
You may have noticed that when you visit Alpine’s website, there are often dozens upon dozens of different head units available. This is because Alpine realizes that their products need to be flexible in order for them to work with nearly any car model on the market whether it be a Ford or a Ferrari.
When considering what type of deck will work best for you going forward, think about the kinds of tools and skills you have at your disposal before deciding which unit to buy.
It should come as no surprise that in most cases an aftermarket head unit won’t require a professional installation even if it doesn’t come equipped with a wiring harness designed specifically for your vehicle model. Keep this point in mind when you’re thinking about additional costs along the way.
5 – What Kind of Sound Quality Do You Want?
What is it that makes a piece of audio equipment “high fidelity”? In a nutshell, high-quality sound reproduction over a wide range of frequencies with no distortion or other issues that might compromise sound clarity in some way.
There are two ways to achieve this: true component speakers and factory replacement decks. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but there’s one usual benefit to going with an aftermarket head unit rather than upgrading your car speakers directly: power!
In most cases, an aftermarket deck will produce significantly more volume from your installed speakers. There’s also more room on the inside for dedicated amplifiers which can really make your system shine.
When it comes to sound quality, there’s no one definitive answer. It all depends on your own personal listening preferences and what you’re looking for in terms of overall sound reproduction. With that said, if you’re looking for an unbeatable listening experience, upgrading your car’s audio system with components is the way to go.
Now that you have a better idea of what to consider when buying an aftermarket head unit, it’s time to start shopping! Alpine offers a wide range of decks that will fit any budget and suit any need so be sure to browse our selection before making a purchase. Thanks for reading!
Alpine car stereos are designed to provide users with an experience superior to standard factory-installed systems. A common misconception about the Alpine head units is that they are just for cars. However, they can be installed in many other vehicles, including trucks and boats.
The Alpine head units on our list provide excellent sound quality while being user-friendly. Plus, they offer intuitive interfaces and make it easy for anyone to find all their favorite songs with ease. We hope that we have helped you streamline your search of finding the Alpine head unit perfect for your needs. Good luck!