With all the new car audio technology available, it is the perfect time to upgrade that old head unit. Whether you want to get satellite radio, GPS, or completely integrate your smartphone into your stereo, a flip-out head unit is a great place to start.
Another reason to upgrade to a flip-out head unit is for sound quality as well. The head unit that comes with your vehicle is often underpowered and will result in less than perfect sound quality.
They can do even more, and we will get into that further in our roundup. For now, let’s go through the 5 best flip out head units currently available and find the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 5 Best Flip Out Head Units To Purchase In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Regetek Single Din Car Stereo 7 inch Bluetooth Car Audio Video Player – Most Affordable Flip Out Head Unit
- 1.2 2 Power Acoustik PTID-8920B In-Dash DVD AM/FM Receiver with 7-Inch Flip-Out Touchscreen Monitor – Best Flip Out Head Unit for Video
- 1.3 3 Pyle Single DIN Head Unit Receiver – In-Dash Car Stereo with 7” Multi-Color Touchscreen Display – Most Powerful Flip Out Head Unit
- 1.4 4 Jensen CMR3710 Single Din 7” Motorized Touchscreen Digital Multimedia Receiver – Best Flip Out Head Unit with Remote
- 1.5 5 PIONEER SPH10BT Single-DIN in-Dash Mechless Smart Sync Receiver with Bluetooth – Best Premium Flip Out Head Unit
- 2 Best Flip Out Head Units Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for some excellent modern Motor Tech?
- 4 Which of the Best Flip Out Head Units would we want in our vehicle?
Top 5 Best Flip Out Head Units To Purchase In 2021 Reviews
7” Telescopic Touchscreen
USB, AUX, BT, and SD card
|(3.9 / 5)|
7” Telescopic Touchscreen
Bluetooth, USB, SDHC, and AUX
|(4 / 5)|
7” Telescopic Touchscreen
Bluetooth, USB, and AUX
|(3.8 / 5)|
7” Telescopic Touchscreen
Bluetooth, USB, MicroSD, and AUX
|(4.2 / 5)|
Bluetooth and USB
|(4.5 / 5)|
1 Regetek Single Din Car Stereo 7 inch Bluetooth Car Audio Video Player – Most Affordable Flip Out Head Unit
We are beginning this roundup with a head unit from Regetek. This single-DIN flip out head unit comes with a telescopic 7” touchscreen.
Since this screen is telescopic, you can set it at a variety of angles as you manually pull it out. But do take extra care not to use too much force, so you do not damage it.
With the screen out, you can easily choose between various inputs like FM/AM, Bluetooth, AUX, or an SD memory card.
You have a variety of controls on the unit’s body, but we found the touchscreen to be much more straightforward to use. On the front of the unit, there are also two USB ports. You can charge your phone and even use MirrorLink to display a compatible Android or Apple device directly onto the touch screen.
Since you can hook up your phone or plug in an SD card into the head unit, you can use it to watch movies too. It also features a built-in microphone allowing you to talk hands-free on your phone.
Once you take this flip out head unit out of its box, you will notice a wiring harness. This wiring harness will have each individual wire labeled, letting you know what to connect it to.
This Regetek head unit can provide 45 watts of power to up to four speakers. It, unfortunately, does not come with an output for a subwoofer, though.
You can also hook the Regetek up to your vehicle’s parking sensors and reverse camera.
- Very well priced.
- Very responsive high-resolution screen.
- Built-in microphone.
- The screen is not motorized.
2 Power Acoustik PTID-8920B In-Dash DVD AM/FM Receiver with 7-Inch Flip-Out Touchscreen Monitor – Best Flip Out Head Unit for Video
Some flip out head units come with a motorized touchscreen, though. With a simple press of a button, the touchscreen will emerge and position itself all on its own. The PTID-8920B from Power Acoustik does just that. The 7” touchscreen on hand is very responsive, and you can further adjust the tilt of it via the buttons located on the head unit.
Avoid the buttons…
For controlling the other aspects, we would recommend using the touchscreen if at all possible. The integrated buttons are tiny and clustered together, making it easy to press the wrong one accidentally.
With this head unit, you can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth or directly through USB. If devices are connected via USB and support PhoneLink, its display will mirror on to the touch screen.
The PTID-8920B supports USB memory sticks for both audio or video playback. It also has an integrated DVD player as well. This allows you to watch movies on the touchscreen when parked. You can further connect this head unit to an alternate screen through the RCA video output port, allowing you to watch movies on the go.
The integrated amplifier provides up to 300 watts of power split between four channels. While this should be enough to power stock speakers, we did notice some sound quality issues when playing videos.
Installation is pretty straightforward for a single din head unit. You can further connect this head unit up to your rear camera, as well as a subwoofer for extra bass.
- Built-in DVD player.
- 7” motorized touchscreen.
- Can output video to additional screens.
- The touchscreen is not that bright.
3 Pyle Single DIN Head Unit Receiver – In-Dash Car Stereo with 7” Multi-Color Touchscreen Display – Most Powerful Flip Out Head Unit
Another great motorized flip out head unit is the Pyle PLTS78DUB. It has a bright 7” touchscreen and offers Bluetooth connectivity.
The touchscreen interface on this head unit is one of the easiest to use, in our opinion. Once powered up, the menu of options it provides allows you to quickly control every aspect of the head unit. You will also find your usual set of dashboard buttons as well. These will illuminate, allowing you to control this Pyle stereo even in the dark when the touchscreen is not out.
It provides up to 320 watts of power to your speakers. Sound quality is excellent and can even be further enhanced by using the preset equalizer settings on hand.
A built-in microphone is also found on the head unit allowing for hands-free calling. While testing out the microphone, we did notice the occasional echo while talking, though.
Thanks to the integrated DVD player and USB port, you can playback media files as well. Unfortunately, it isn’t a full-size USB port, so you might find yourself having to go out and buy a micro USB adapter.
When we unboxed our test unit, we found a basic wiring harness included. However, we are aware that this is not always the case, and not all units come with a wiring harness included. While this is not necessarily a deal-breaker given its reasonable price point, it does leave us to question the quality control of the product overall.
- Touchscreen menu is straightforward to navigate.
- Very powerful output up to 320 watts.
- Bluetooth connectivity can be finicky.
- Might hear occasional echo while using the phone.
- Numerous cases of missing wiring harnesses.
4 Jensen CMR3710 Single Din 7” Motorized Touchscreen Digital Multimedia Receiver – Best Flip Out Head Unit with Remote
The Jensen CMR3710 reminds us a bit of the Regetek flip out head unit we looked at before. It does not offer an integrated DVD player, but it does have Bluetooth on hand for smartphone connectivity.
It has a motorized 7” touchscreen, unlike the Regetek. It also has a set of RCA ports for connecting up to a subwoofer or an additional amplifier if need be.
Sound quality is well up there with the best as well, thanks to the 8-band equalizer and its ability to output 200 watts. The preamp output also features six low-level channels that really keep any distortion to a minimum.
With the CMR3710, you can also connect and playback from either of the two USB ports on offer. One of the ports is located on the back of the head unit, so you will need to get an extension cable to access it. You can control it through the various controls on the head unit. As far as integrated controls go, these are some of the easiest to use.
While this touchscreen might be bright and clear, it does not look that great, in our opinion. The touchscreen interface feels dated with a simple 2D look to it.
You will find a very basic set of options to change the variety of inputs on offer. It has a few different wallpapers you can change, which will also set the illuminated buttons to match in color.
The one thing we did like is how easy it is to open up the equalizer control panel. While playing music, you will notice a rather sizable button on the lower-right part of the screen that takes you directly to the 8-band equalizer.
- 6-channel preamp outputs.
- Wireless remote is included.
- Can connect to front and rear view cameras.
- The display is rather boring to look at.
5 PIONEER SPH10BT Single-DIN in-Dash Mechless Smart Sync Receiver with Bluetooth – Best Premium Flip Out Head Unit
The last head unit we are going to look at is rather unique to this roundup. Unlike the rest of the head units we have reviewed, the Pioneer SPH10BT uses your smartphone as the touchscreen.
Cats in the cradle…
To do this, the SPH10BT has a phone cradle that flips out from the faceplate of the stereo. Once the cradle is flipped out, you will notice that it will adjust up and down, allowing for a firm grip on your phone.
There are also adjustable legs for additional support along the bottom of the cradle, allowing you to rotate your device. This will not inhibit you from accessing any of the buttons on the side of your device, either.
Pioneer Smart Sync…
To get the most out of this unit, you’ll need to download the Pioneer Smart Sync app on your iOS or Android device. Once downloaded, you can connect to the head unit through Bluetooth or directly via USB.
The Pioneer Smart Sync application allows you to control common music services like Spotify or YouTube. It also allows you to use navigation apps like Waze or Apple Maps and even messaging apps like Facebook.
While you can control it as you would typically control your phone by touching the screen, you can also use Siri or Google Assistant if you so choose. There are also a variety of buttons that will let you control the device directly on the head unit as well.
You would install this head unit as you would any other single din unit. It has two RCA outputs allowing you to connect up a subwoofer or an additional amplifier.
The built-in amp can power up to four channels, with each receiving up to 50 watts. Sound quality is excellent and can also be customized by using the 31-band equalizer.
Overall this is a great head unit if you aren’t a fan of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and still want to connect your device to your stereo.
- Can hold a large variety of devices.
- Can synchronize display color with your control panel.
- Built-in 31-band equalizer.
- Some connectivity issues between phone and head unit.
Best Flip Out Head Units Buying Guide
Buying a flip-out head unit is not necessarily as straightforward as you may think. They all differ in some way or another.
In the following buying guide, we would like to point out a few key areas to take into consideration before making a purchase.
In the mid-1980s, car manufacturers started using a DIN standardized measurement to describe a stereo head unit’s size. All of the units we have looked at are single DIN. This simply means they can fit into a space that is 2” high by 7” wide.
There are also double DIN head units that require 4” by 7” of space to fit into your vehicle’s dash. No matter the model of your vehicle, you should be able to tell the size of your head unit just by looking at it.
This makes it remarkably easy to find a stereo that will fit into your vehicle without any modification. If you were to have a modified dash in your car, this could affect head unit compatibility, though.
Inputs and Outputs
Now that you have determined what size stereo will fit into your vehicle, you should consider what input and outputs it has.
All of the head units we have looked at come with an AM/FM tuner, AUX, and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Some flip out head units will also allow for USB connectivity. Depending on the head unit, these USB ports could charge your device or even allow you to mirror the device onto the head unit’s touchscreen.
Additionally, you may find your head unit is compatible with services like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. This further allows you to control more aspects of your phone directly from the head unit.
Even if the head unit isn’t compatible with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, it may offer its own app to provide the same level of control.
This was most noticeable in the Pioneer unit we looked at, but it does require you to go to your respective app store to download and install the application. It might not be compatible with all of your devices, either.
Once you have all your favorite music coming into the head unit, you need to output it to your speakers.
Head units will have a built-in amp to power your stock car speakers. The amount of power on hand will vary, and if you have custom speakers installed, it may or not be enough to adequately power them.
Fortunately, head units will oftentimes have RCA outputs allowing you to connect up to a more powerful amplifier. These outputs will also let you connect to a subwoofer, cameras, or additional monitors usually.
Installing an aftermarket flip out head unit can be done in no time at all, depending on your vehicle. You’ll find yourself needing to remove some of your dash panels on most occasions before you are able to take out your stock head unit, though.
Once you have access to your stock head unit, you will want to unplug it. Then you will want to get out the wiring harness that comes with your new head unit.
Just follow the suggested steps in your manual…
This aftermarket wiring harness might be compatible with your stock wiring harness. Even if it isn’t, the aftermarket harness will either have each wire labeled, or the manual will let you know which wire is for what.
After your wiring harness is all set up, you simply connect it to your new head unit and slide everything back into your dash and secure it.
The included manual will go into this in more detail, of course. If you do have any problems, we would recommend heading to YouTube for additional help.
Looking for some excellent modern Motor Tech?
If you have more space in your dash, check out our reviews of the Best Double Din Head Units!
Then, with Bluetooth capability on these devices, you may also be interested in the Best Bluetooth Headsets for Drivers? If you decide not to go for a head unit but still want Bluetooth for hands-free calls, see our reviews of the Best Bluetooth Car Kits for your money in 2021.
And while you’re here, don’t miss our reviews for the Best HUD for Cars, the Best Car Compasses, the Best Garage Door Openers, the Best Garage Parking Aids, and the Best Remote Start Systems currently on the market!
Back to the best flip-out head units…
Which of the Best Flip Out Head Units would we want in our vehicle?
The best flip-out head unit, in our opinion, is the…
It is not your traditional flip out head unit with an integrated touchscreen, though. Since you are using the screen on your mobile device, we find that it provides the easiest to use interface. However, you will need to download the Pioneer Smart Sync app to get the most functionality out of the head unit.
With the SPH10BT in your vehicle, you will have access to most of your normal smartphone functions, even messaging. Controlling all aspects of this head unit is also very straightforward. Most can even be done hands-free.
And, don’t let its petite size fool you. The Pioneer SPH10BT is very powerful, and thanks to the 31-channel equalizer on board, all of your music will sound amazing!
Enjoy your drive.