The Best Cheap Carplay Stereos of 2022 to Shop for Right Now

Countless car owners worldwide are lining up to buy the best cheap carplay stereos of 2022. Why? Because cheap carplay head units are must-have items for new-age drivers. This device can instantly transform your driving experience as well. 

Most drivers use their phones while driving. Some use their phones for entertainment, others for navigation. A high-quality yet cheap carplay head unit with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto can make the process of using a phone while driving so much safer & easier. 

Plus, stereos & head units have come a long way from being staticky, single-purpose tools. The best budget carplay head units in the market today will all have wireless connectivity, touchscreen capabilities, & easy-to-use interfaces. 

Drivers can connect these devices to their smartphones & stream music, play videos, receive navigation tips, and more. So if you’re in the market for a cheap Apple Carplay or Android Auto-friendly head unit, keep reading.

We’ve assessed the most highly-rated carplay head units in the market today & picked three that we think to offer the most value for money. Next, here are the best cheap carplay head units to shop for right now. But before that, here’s a brief look at how we reviewed & rated these products.

Do you have a particular question about choosing the best cheap carplay stereo? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Criteria for Picking the Best Budget Car Stereos with Apple Carplay & Android Auto

First things first – we’ve exclusively picked carplay head units that are compatible with both Apple Carplay & Android Auto. Here are some other key features that all three head units on this list offer: 

  • Double DIN: All three head units on this list are double DIN (they measure 4×8 inches). Double DIN head units are a more flexible option for adding smarts to your car stereo. 
  • Wireless Connectivity: We’ve only picked units that can seamlessly link to all of the stereos via USB cords & connect wirelessly to Android Auto or CarPlay apps.
  • Easy-to-Use Interface: Large on-screen buttons, easy-to-read fonts, & intuitive controls are very important features for head units to have. 
  • Touchscreen: We’ve picked head units that come with capacitive touchscreens (the ones that smartphones have). These types of touchscreens allow multitouch gestures. So, they’re very easy to use, especially when driving.

Here are the best budget carplay head units of 2022: 

Alpine ILX-W650 

The Alpine iLX-W650 is currently the cheapest double DIN unit with Apple CarPlay in the market. Priced under 600, this highly-rated car stereo comes with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen. 

This 7-inch, intuitive, & easy-to-use touchscreen is itself worth the money. The iLX-W650 is of course compatible with both Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. It also offers Bluetooth & USB connectivity. 

The head unit also has two camera inputs and an external microphone for receiving voice commands. The Alpine iLX-W650 is the best in the market for hands-free phone use. It’s also loaded with perks. 

For instance, it has steering wheel control compatibility & a built-in amplifier. Plus, its shallow mount design makes installation very easy. Most importantly, the Alpine iLX-W650 is a sturdy product. It’s easy to use, size-efficient, packed with interesting features, & long-lasting. 

Standout Features of the Alpine iLX-W650:

  • Double-DIN car stereo
  • Slender design
  • Compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 7-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • Bluetooth, USB, & Wireless Connectivity 
  • Comes with SiriusXM Internet Service
  • Rear camera-ready (two camera inputs)

The only negative of the Alpine iLX-W650 is that it doesn’t play CDs. But, we’re assuming that most new-age car owners will be okay with this detail. If you’re looking for a long-lasting yet cheap wireless Apple CarPlay unit, the Alpine iLX-W650 will not disappoint you. 

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX 

Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX deserves high praise because its motorized 7-inch display is extremely customizable, much more than the other models we tested. You can customize the screen any way you want to optimize your driving experience. 

This best-selling head unit also allows you to connect your smartphone to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto either through a USB cord or wirelessly. These features make the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX extremely versatile & user-friendly. 

There are multiple input & output connections on this head unit as well. It even features a CD/DVD drive. You get all these features for less than $600! Plus, installing this unit is super easy. Here’s a video on how to unbox & install the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX:

Standout Features of the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX:

  • Double-DIN 
  • Motorized & customizable 7-inch screen
  • Full smartphone integration
  • Bluetooth & USB connectivity:
  • Internet services include – Spotify, Pandora, & SiriusXM
  • Comes with a handy remote control
  • Features a built-in 50Wx4 amplifier
  • Compatible with older smartphones (e.g., iPhone 7)

In terms of user-friendliness, the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is the best budget Apple CarPlay head unit out there. 

WOWiViD Carplay/Android Auto

Don’t want fancy features & just want the cheapest CarPlay that is best rated too? Then the WOWiViD is the perfect product for you. Priced lower than both units above, this one comes with many fancy features. The only downside is that it’s not a well-known established brand, but rather something unknown, totally made in China. And it doesn’t support Android 10.1 or above, and iOS 15.3 or above when mirror linking. (But older versions are fine). 

It has a decent 7-inch display. And the screen is clear and responsive

So, don’t expect to have any interface issues with this unit. It also offers satellite-radio capability. 

These smart features make this head unit the best budget car stereo with Apple CarPlay in the market today. In a world where most head units with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto compatibility cost more than $600, the Sony XAV-AX100 is a surprising anomaly.

Standout Features of WOWiViD:

  • Double DIN car stereo
  • 7-inch HD touchscreen
  • Support USB, TF card, AUX input
  • Rear view mirror camera is included

And it even plays CDs. So, all in all, even though not a “famous” brand and a bit old-school, WOWiViD is one of the best car stereos you can buy for cheap in 2023. 

As you can see, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto into your vehicle. However, if your shopping budget is tight, look no further than these three cheap yet top-quality CarPlay stereos! 

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

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