While you don’t necessarily need a head unit for Android Auto nowadays, Pioneer, KENWOOD and a few more manufacturers debuted a number of after-market head units at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past week. With the latest update to Android Auto, you can simply mount your smartphone on your dashboard and use Android Auto in the car without buying a new head unit. However if you prefer a larger display for Android Auto, a head unit is still a great idea.
Pioneer announced a slew of new head units at CES 2017 for the third year in a row. There is the AVH-4201NEX which will cost you $700, the AVIC-6201NEX for $900, AVIC-7201NEX for $1,100 and then the AVIC-8201NEX for $1,300. There aren’t many differences between these, but the cheapest one the AVH-4201NEX, is a pretty barebones head unit. It does have satellite radio and all that good stuff, but the AVIC models do support HERE Maps and each one features more storage capacity for their maps.
KENWOOD came to Las Vegas with a new head unit, as well as their sister-brand JVC. KENWOOD announced the DMX7740S which is a new head unit compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It uses a resistive touchscreen, this is different from most other head units, as they typically use capacitive displays. There is support for SiriusXM Satellite radio here and there is also built-in Bluetooth. So you can simply pair your smartphone with the head unit and play music over Bluetooth, if you don’t want to use Android Auto. Then there is the JVC Kw-M730BT. This one sports a 6.8-inch resistive display, and it also comes with SiriusXM satellite radio and Bluetooth built in. This model will be available for $500 next month, as will the KENWOOD DMX7740S.
Rounding out the list of Android Auto-compatible head units at CES 2017 this year, we have the Clarion NX807. This is a new head unit that supports both platforms and has a 7-inch WVGA display. There is tilt control built in, as well “2-Zone Entertainment”. According to Clarion, 2-Zone Entertainment allows those in the back seat of the car to listen to something different than those in the front. So your kids could listen to their favorite music, while parents listen to their own and it keeps everyone happy. Clarion will put the NX807 on sale in the first quarter of this year, however the company has not yet mentioned any pricing for the head unit.