Jeep Wrangler Aftermarket Stereo (5 Best High-Quality Radios Reviewed)


quality jeep radio

The Jeep Wrangler has its passionate fans all over the world ranging from those who love off-roading, slogging through mud or even driving up the countryside.

The Wrangler is an American fan-favorite that only gets better throughout the years. If you’re a music enthusiast, you will notice that the music was great at first but you’ll start noticing a difference gradually.

Some reasons to attach aftermarket stereos in your jeep are to improve your system’s music playback, get advanced capabilities like phone connectivity, Bluetooth, GPS and more.

Key Features to Consider When Buying an Aftermarket Car Stereo For Your Jeep

When you check the specifications for aftermarket head units, they may show so many features and numbers. There is no one standard to look up to also as there are many brands in the market.

If you are not familiar with car stereos, you may not know exactly what to look for. Read My handy guide which will help you know what features are important:

1. POWER

I would definitely want to hear the song even when we’re at 80 mph with the top down on a jeep wrangler. For this to be possible, the power of the stereo is very important.

This requires a good internal amplifier to produce clear audio. Look for a stereo which is CEA-2006 compliant. But many brands do not show a power rating based on the CEA-2006 specs. So do read the reviews to check about the power before purchasing.

2. DEDICATED SUBWOOFER OUTPUT

I would recommend that you get a stereo head with a subwoofer and a low-pass filter and level control. The level control allows you to change the volume of the bass.

So if you love rocking out to drum solos or listening to the base of hip hop music, subwoofer level controls are essential. The low-pass filter helps you change the frequencies that are sent to the subwoofer.

3. EQUALIZER (EQ) CONTROLS

Using EQ is all about finding the right balance between the frequencies in the songs and adjusting it to get what you want.

You can make adjustments in a specific range of sound called ‘frequency bands’. Usually, car stereos come with 7 bands but it can go up to 30 the more you pay.

The more bands your equalizer allows the more control you have over your sound. At a minimum, I would find a stereo with an EQ that has a minimum of three bands for adjustment.

4. Types of units

The two main types of head units are:

  1. Single DIN car stereos are about two inches tall. They are not expensive and fit most dashboards. This is the kind that will be found in jeep wranglers from the years 1987-1995
  2. Double DIN car stereos are four inches in height. They usually have a large touchscreen but are more expensive. If you have a jeep wrangler from the years of 1996 onward, you will have a Double DIN

5. BUILT-IN FUNCTIONALITY

Almost all of us steam our music on Spotify, iTunes and more and as such you will need these functionalities in your Jeep.

Bluetooth is a must-have to be able to use these services and if it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that is a bonus.

Apple CarPlay connects your iPhone to your stereo so the major functions of your phone can be used through the stereo’s built-in display.

This means you can choose the music, listen to and send messages and more. Android Auto connects your phone’s Google Assistant to the stereo so you can keep your eyes on the road.

GPS navigation is also a good bonus. You will be able to drive on the correct path without having to check with your phone and getting distracted.

now with all of those in mind, here are the top 5 aftermarket stereo for your wrangler.

1. Kenwood DNX893S 6.95″ eXcelon Double-DIN AV Navigation System with Bluetooth

If you’re looking for amazing sound without having to yield storage space, the double-DIN Kenwood DNX893S is a good option.

With modern features like a touchscreen, Apple CarPlay compatibility, a backup camera, and tuning options, you will not be disappointed with this one.

Many manufacturers talk about their screens but this one is truly high-definition (720p) display. Measuring 6.75″ diagonally, this capacitive touchscreen shows all the important information in a quick glance no matter what the environment is outside.

As we mentioned before, this stereo is wifi-enabled allowing it to connect to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This means you can get maps, messaging, music, and much more done through the display.

The DNX996XR uses trustworthy Garmin maps of the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico with audio assistance and realistic views.

I also liked the ability to use split-screen which means we could view the maps while still changing the music. While you can play CDs and DVDs, in today’s age of streaming, I not sure of how useful this is.

It also comes with an A/V input and rear USB ports so you can connect your phone, iPod or flash drive. As for the sound, the DNX is equipped with three sets of 5-volt preamp outputs which gives good audio performance.

You can adjust between highs, mids, and sub frequencies. It also has a Drive EQ+ technology that amplifies those frequencies that can be overpowered by the noise of tires, wind and more. It has a 13-band equalizer which is impressive.

What I Like (Pros)

  • Audio controls can be programmed at the steering wheel so you don’t have to keep your eyes off the road
  • Can use Siri voice assistant or Google Assistant Compatible with TuneMix, SportsFlash, and SiriusXM features
  • Built-in HD Radio tuner
  • Built-in amplifier

What I don’t Like (Cons)

  • Some people noticed that this stereo freezes when you first plug in an iPhone but comes back in a while
  • a bit pricey as this is top of the line

2. JVC KW-R930BTS

Simple is beautiful with this double DIN stereo. This is certainly built to music well thanks to its connectivity with Bluetooth, Internet radio stations, SiriusXM satellite radio tuner, and CDs.

Getting your song’s info is also easy with a 2-line display with illumination colors. You can pair 2 Bluetooth devices which are useful when you’re not alone in the jeep.

And when it comes to streaming music, a ‘Streaming DJ’ feature lets you connect five phones which such an incredible feature that will make road-trips with friends so much more fun. It does have a standard USB input on the front panel where you also charge your phone.

It also has an auxiliary input in the front allowing you to hook up receiver’s front auxiliary input also provides a handy connection if you want to hook up another device, Also, you can connect standard steering wheels with the audio controls, however, you will need an adapter to do so.

When it comes to music, this stereo comes with a 13-band graphic equalizer which is made better with a K2 technology that expands the compressed bit rate. 3 sets of preamp outputs that provide signals to additional amplifiers or a powered subwoofer.

What I Like (Pros)

  • Can control car stereo from your iPhone or Android phone with JVC’s free app
  • Can connect 2 phones and pair automatically for iPhone and Android
  • 13-band graphic equalizer with 11 EQ presets Dual-line LCD dual-line display variable color, auto dimmer, and brightness controls

What I Don’t Like (Cons)

  • Many menu functions, which can be difficult to navigate for a beginner

3. Pioneer AVIC-W8500NEX

Pioneer is known for a great multimedia experience in automobiles and the AVIC can connect to androids and iPhones while also proving traffic maps, radio and more.

This Pioneer uses WebLink which means you can use apps like YouTube® and Yelp® and a few select ones on the display.

It’s fascinating how you can use Alexa while on the road! WebLink works with iPhone now, and Android™ compatibility will come soon. And it works with Amazon Alexa, so you can ask questions and add items to your shopping list from the road.

To connect with iPhones, the AVIC uses Apple CarPlay to play music, use navigation, take phone calls, manage calendars and more through Siri.

You can connect to Android Auto via USB for those who prefer using Waze, google maps and android apps. Like other stereos, the AVIC allows Bluetooth connectivity which is always a failsafe.

Now coming to the sound, it has a 13-band graphic equalizer, Auto EQ, and Time Alignment so you can control the sound to your taste.

If you’re an audiophile, you will enjoy using the crossover’s adjustable points to fill in the missing “gaps” in your compressed music files.

To support all of these functions, it has a wide 6.94″ touchscreen with CD/DVD receiver. We could zoom in maps and see music files clearly and play around to set apps on the screen.

I particularly liked the “Power Off” mode which will darken the screen. This is useful when you don’t want the additional light emanating inside the jeep.

You can play movies on this display but we would advise that the driver keeps his/her eyes on the road. It does have its own GPS technology with U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico’s data with stopping points available.

What I Like (Pros)

  • Can use apps like Youtube and Yelp using WebLink
  • Works with wireless and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Built-in amplifier Advanced Sound Retriever feature to improve compressed files

What I Don’t Like (Cons)

  • Weblink does not support Android as of now
  • Switching between screens takes a long time

4. JVC KD-X360BTS

The JVC single DIN stereo is modestly priced but does the job of elevating your music experience compared to the wrangler’s built-in stereo.

Bluetooth is a must-have feature in jeep stereos and the JVC allows two phones to be paired at once. This also helps Android phones to control Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio from the stereo.

If you have an iPhone, you will have to resort to a USB connection. JVC’s remote control app makes it very easy for you to use the stereo through your Android or iPhone.

When it comes to the quality of sound, KD-X360BTS can play MP3, WMA, AAC, WA files clearly with a time-alignment feature that focuses the sound in your seat.

It features a 13-band equalizer and a Sound Lift feature to spread the sound throughout the space. You can add on amps and a subwoofer with the three sets of 4-volt preamp outputs.

It is also compatible with a SiriusXM® tuner which you’ll have to buy separately though. This will let you do a whole lot more with your stereos such as listen to music, sports, news, and entertainment.

What I Like (Pros)

  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and an aux input make playing music from your phone quick and satisfying
  • Built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • 13-band EQ with K2 technology improves the digital sound for most music sources

What I Don’t Like (Cons)

  • Does not play CDs
  • You will have to go to the hardware store and buy screws separately.

5. Boss 480BRGB

This nifty aftermarket stereo offers Bluetooth compatibility which will let you stream music from your phone, answer calls with a button so that you focus on your driving.

A single-DIN stereo, this front auxiliary unit allows you to play your mp3 files while you keep an iPod in the rotation. If you’re keen on the radio, it does have an FM/AM tuner and wireless remote control to change the source of music easily.

Use the four EQ presets to get your music sounding just the way you like it. And when you’re ready to add a little more power to your sound, Boss gives you two sets of preamp outputs to connect an amp for your speakers or even a sub.

Need a different color to match your dash lighting? The multi-color illumination lets you pick your favorite color for the look you want.

When it comes to sound quality, the Boss stereo features four EQ which cannot equal others on this list but is good for its price. For extra power to the sound, there are 2 sets of pre-amp outputs to allow connectivity to an amplifier or a subwoofer.

What I like (Pros)

  • Affordable and good value for money
  • Expandable with auxiliary input and USB port
  • Features a single-line display with multi-color illumination
  • Comes with a MOSFET amplifier (18 watts RMS)

What I Don’t Like (Cons)

  • Cannot play CDs
  • You may need help from a professional to install

Final Thoughts

If you’re an owner of a Jeep, customizing your drive is part of the fun. If you don’t want to spend too much, go for a Single DIN.

But if you really like jamming hard when you’re in the jeep, and Double DIN stereo from the above list will be right for you.

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