The 8 Best Alpine Head Units Available Today

Alpine is a Japanese electronic component manufacturer that specializes in-car audio and navigation systems. They were founded in 1967 as Alps-Motorola — a joint venture between Alps Electric, one of Japan's leading manufacturers of electronic components, and Motorola — tens years later, Alps bought out Motorola's share of the company and became Alpine Electronics.

Alpine has made a name for itself in the industry as a leading manufacturer of high-performance mobile electronics, offering a wide range of audio, navigational, and electronic automobile products such as security systems, in-car multimedia, amplifiers, speakers, and subwoofers.

For the purpose of this article, we'll shed some light on the Best Alpine head units that offer the best bang for your buck. Read on to find out.

1. Alpine CDE-164BT

The CDE-164BT is one of the best single DIN head units that Alpine has to offer. It's very well-engineered and it's loaded with a ton of features. As with all head units made within the last few years, the CDE-164BT comes with built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming. 

Alpine CDE-164BT

It also comes with a tuned microphone that’s engineered to reduce noise interference.

This head unit can also be set to answer your calls automatically. And if you happen to listen to music and a call comes in, your music mutes so you can carry the phone call.

And even if you receive a second call, you can put the first caller on-hold momentarily by pressing “2” for call waiting mode. All in all, the CDE-164BT goes a step beyond the Bluetooth features you'll find on most other CD receivers.

What we also love about this head unit - aside Bluetooth connectivity - is that you can customize it using your smartphone. Simply download Alpine TuneIt App onto your iPhone or Android and create or adjust sound settings (Parametric EQ, Crossover, low-frequency controls ...) for your vehicle or choose from pre-made settings.

The CDE-164BT is compatible with SiriusXM. It has a front USB port and auxiliary input, as well as 6-channel preamp outputs. As for its power output, the CDE-164BT can send up to 18 watts RMS per channel, which is relatively enough to make your speakers sound great.

The only downside we can reasonably think of is the price. However, something this good is naturally expensive. So, if you're willing to shell out some serious dough, the Alpine CDE-164BT is a great option to consider.

PROS

  • User-friendly
  • Customizable
  • Hands-free functionality

CONS

  • Text display can be difficult to read

The CDE-W265BT is another great double DIN headunit by Alpine. It's well-built and packs in a wide array of features including Bluetooth, built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control, Pandora control for iPhone and Android, as well as a front USB port and aux input.

CDE-W265BT

And since Alpine puts great sound at the top of their "to-do" list when designing car stereos, this head unit comes with extensive sound adjustment and settings that you can tweak to hit that sweet spot.

Additionally, and as with all new Alpine head units, you can download Alpine TuneIt app to your smartphone and start tweaking and adjusting the CDE-W265BT's sound settings to match your musical taste.

The Alpine CDE-W265BT is really well-conceived, ergonomically speaking. It features easy-to-reach controls and an easy-to-read two-line display with variable colour illumination.

PROS

  • User-friendly and easy-to-read interface
  • Excellent audio quality with emphasis on low-end frequency performance
  • Solid price point

CONS

  • Unable to play WAV or FLAC audio files

The successor to the widely popular ILX-107, the Alpine ILX-207 is one of Alpine’s newest flagship products, and it’s well-deserving of that status.

While it remains the same 7-inch intuitive capacitive touchscreen of its predecessor, along with the built-in Wi-Fi, using it feels just so much better. 

ILX-107

It feels less like the touchscreen headunits of most vehicles, and more like a tablet that’s permanently affixed to your dashboard.

Just as how convenient it is to swipe and tap away at the screen of your tablet or larger smartphones, the same can be said of the ILX-207.

Because of this, the ILX-207 is perfect for people who’ve been hesitant to upgrade to touchscreen head units because of the supposed learning curve. Not to mention, Alpine designed the ILX-207 to work seamlessly with Apple CarPlay, even without a physical connection.

Even better, the connection is just as good with Android Auto, making it one of the few headunits on the market to achieve this.

As an added bonus, the ILX-207 comes with additional input for a rear camera, as well as USB/AUX/HDMI input and output options. You also get a variety of features dedicated to improving sound quality, including high-pass and low-ass filters of the Bass Engine SQ from Alpine.

Pound for pound, the Alpine ILX-207 is one of the best head units available today, and it’s a must-buy if you want one of the best products out there!

PROS

  • Very easy to use – low learning curve for first time users!
  • Built-in external microphone
  • Back-up camera support
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support

CONS

  • The absence of a physical volume knob might be a disadvantage to some

If you’re looking for a good-looking single-DIN head unit that’s easy to control and use, the Alpine CDE-HD149BT might just be what’s best for you.

Unlike other single-DIN head units, the CDE-HD149BT doesn’t really give up much functionality to its double-DIN counterparts. 

Alpine CDE-HD149BT

For starters, you can still connect it to both iOS and Android devices using the TuneIt app. You can even create your own personalized profile that lets you adjust your head units’ settings depending on what you prefer.

The CDE-HD149BT also has Bluetooth, a built-in HD radio tuner, as well as a USB player that supports MP3, WMA, and M4A files. It even has a CD player, which is a great add to have on top

of the AM/FM tuner. But, if you’re more into streaming, the CDE-HD149BT also supports Pandora, as well as App Direct Mode.

With a 9-band parametric equalizer that you can tweak according to your link, as well as low and high crossover filters, you can expect awesome audio performance from the CDE-HD149BT.

PROS

  • Plenty of options available to finetune audio
  • Excellent compatibility with external devices
  • Aesthetically pleasing

CONS

  • Inconvenient auxiliary and USB input port locations

If money is no object and you want nothing but the best, then you’ll want to put some serious consideration into treating yourself with the Alpine ILX-F309.

Prepare to pay a premium price for this one!

Alpine ILX-F309

Expensive as it is, the ILX-F309 is well worth the price. For the money, you get an awesome HD display that’s easily some of the best on the market. Not to mention, boot-up only takes a few seconds and it’s designed to work seamlessly with Android Audio as soon as an Android-based smartphone is plugged in.

On top of it all, the ILX-F309 comes with plenty of inputs and outputs for reverse cameras, extra speakers, and subwoofers.

At this point, the LED-lighted bottom is just the classy icing on the proverbial cake.

PROS

  • Clean and crisp display
  • Fits even in the most cramped of spaces
  • Quick boot-up
  • Responsive

CONS

  • The huge display doesn’t look very good in smaller cars

Discs and CD players are so old school. We’re all about touch screens now.

If your car’s dashboard is already a bit cramped without a large touchscreen head unit, then you might want to consider if the Alpine ILX-W650 is the right fit.

Alpine ILX-W650

Because it’s got a touchscreen display, the ILX-W650 doesn’t consume much space on the dashboard.

Yet, despite its rather slim and low profile design, the ILX-W650 is robust with features. This includes inputs for both front and rear camera, as well as six-channel preamp outputs. Not to mention, you can expand it to support an additional 50 watts RMS to help improve sound quality even further.

PROS

  • Sports a space-saving shallow chassis design
  • Easy to install
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility
  • User-friendly and clean user interface

CONS

  • Expensive
Alpine ILX-F259

The Alpine ILX-F259 is the latest and greatest from the folks over at Alpine.

The follow-up to the widely successful ILX-F309, the ILX-F259 comes with a huge 9-inch touchscreen display that’s designed to fit its high asking price point.

The ILX-F259 also isn’t just a thing of beauty. It’s a powerhouse.

In terms of hardware and software, the ILX-F259 comes with a “floating” 9-inch screen with an easily navigable interface. Also, because of how it’s designed, you can tilt the screen forwards and back, as well as side to side, and finally, up and down. The best part? It’s easy to adjust the screen position whenever you want.

The customizable user interface takes personalization to a whole new level as it lets you create your own home screens, as well as make use of as many as 22 different widgets.

Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a given at this price point, and so is Bluetooth 5.0 technology. But, what is not found on other head units that the ILX-F259 has is the Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) technology that lets you encrypt wireless connections for better privacy and security.

As for the installation, the ILX-F259 comes pre-wired straight out of the box. It also comes with accessory wiring harnesses. Add to the fact that the package includes a variety of camera harness

connections, as well as pre-outs, and pretty much anything you need for an easy installation process, and there’s little reason why you shouldn’t attempt to install the ILX-F259 yourself.

PROS

  • Easy to see and use buttons
  • Screen is glass not plastic
  • High Quality

CONS

  • Bluetooth and CarPlay are not very good
Alpine UTE-73BT

CDs be gone, or at least, that’s what we think Alpine said when they designed the Alpine UTE-73BT  

While CDs do still have their place inside cars anymore, there are fewer and fewer people who are still using them. In case you’re not one for sentimentality or you just think that CDs are outdated, then the UTE-73BT is for you.  

Full control and access to your smartphone’s stored music tracks and podcasts is what awaits you at a rather affordable price point via the UTE-73BT  

Via this head unit, you can listen to anything from music to podcasts and even take calls. You can also connect your smartphone to the head unit via the USB slot, or you can also use Bluetooth as well.   

For Android users, you also get access to the Android Open Accessory protocol.   

But, even if you’re using other devices, you can connect any media player device to the head unit via the AUX slot.  

Alpine UTE-73BT Review

  • RMS Power: 18 watts.
    Peak Output: 50 watts.
    Preamp Outputs: 6-channel.
    Smartphone Features: Android phones and iPhones compatibility.
    Bluetooth Compatible: Yes.
    USB Input: Front.
    AUX Input: Front.

PROS

  • Universal single-DIN fit
  • Bluetooth HD voice support 
  • Affordable

CONS

  • No HD radio or satellite radio support 

Conclusion 

As you can see, Alpine makes head units for everybody. This means that you’re bound to find something that fits your budget and preferences.

Now, if an Alpine head unit isn’t listed here, that doesn’t mean that it’s not that good. Rather, it simply means that there are better options, which we believe that we’ve recommended. But, of course, if you see a combination of features that suits your needs best, then you should go and choose what you are most comfortable with using.

But without a doubt, Alpine certainly makes some of the best head units out there, if not the best! Choose wisely, and enjoy the new Alpine Head Unit!