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How to Select the Best Digital Media Receiver for You?

How to Select the Best Digital Media Receiver for You?

Buying Guide for Digital Media Receivers

To put it succinctly: The majority of the vehicle stereos we sell are digital media and multimedia receivers. In this post, we'll look at what makes them unique, why they're so popular, and, most importantly, which one is best for you.

Choosing a new in-dash receiver for your car used to be limited to two options: CD or cassette. Cassettes, on the other hand, are a distant memory, and in this day and age of streaming music, you might not even possess a CD. This fundamental shift in how people listen to music has given rise to new kinds of in-dash players that are mostly focused on smartphones.

Should you use a touchscreen or not?

When it comes to stereos that don't include CD players, two phrases are frequently used to describe them: digital media receivers and digital multimedia receivers. What's the distinction?

A user interface with a touchscreen.Digital media receivers emphasize on audio playback and feature a more "old school" vehicle stereo appearance, with the majority of them designed for single-DIN applications.Digital multimedia receivers provide video capabilities and expand options with touchscreen menus that simplify source selection and EQ tuning. These receivers fit in more dashes than ever before because to creative designs like fold-out and "floating" touchscreens.So what makes sense for you? The best way to start is by entering your vehicle information in our vehicle selector tool to filter out the options that don't fit in your car. From there, you can decide on the features you need the most.

What's the same about them?

Digital media receivers and digital multimedia receivers have one big thing in common — they do not play CDs or DVDs. However, all of these receivers still offer loads of options like:HD Radio is built-in.Voice command is a popular new feature.

A wireless connection between your smartphone and many vehicle stereos provides push-button access to your favorite voice assistants, such as Siri® and Amazon Alexa. All while keeping your eyes on the road, you may ask for directions, type a text, operate smart devices, and more. Check out my experiment with an Apple CarPlay-enabled receiver to see what more you can do in the car with Siri's assistance.Also, while buying, make sure the stereo you're contemplating includes this voice control capability.

Why should you buy a digital media stereo?

Our most economical vehicle stereos are digital media receivers. So, if money is an issue, you should start with them. Then it comes down to the music sources you choose.

At the lower end of the price range, you may rely on:

integrated AM/FM tuner

Bluetooth connection for hands-free calling and music streaming.USB charging port for smartphones and playback of saved audio files.Preamp outputs for usage with an external amplifier 3.5mm auxiliary input for playing music from an older music player.You'll get more features as your pricing rises.

If adding a touchscreen to your dash isn't a requirement, installing a digital media receiver allows you to include a slew of fantastic audio capabilities into your car for a fraction of the price of the most affordable digital multimedia receivers. Digital media receivers also make a lot of sense for historic automobiles (particularly ones that never had a radio to begin with). RetroSound, in example, provides several vehicle-specific settings that make integration in a vintage dash simple on the eyes.

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  • Qiang Ling
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