The Best Apple CarPlay Head Units (Under $300) on Amazon in 2018

Apple CarPlay is a hands-free way to use an iPhone in a vehicle.

Many new cars have CarPlay built into their dashboard "infotainment" system. Some of these vehicles can pair wirelessly with an iPhone, but most vehicles require a wired connection using a lightning-to-USB cable (the USB end plugs into the car). 

Once an iPhone is paired with CarPlay, you can make calls, send and receive messages, stream music, talk with Siri, get directions from GPS apps like Apple Maps or Waze, etc.

If your car doesn't have CarPlay pre-installed, you’ll need a CarPlay head unit (i.e. an aftermarket car stereo). Many CarPlay-enabled stereos cost $500 or more, but there are less expensive models available.

Here are the best-reviewed Apple CarPlay head units selling for less than $300 on Amazon. Use Amazon's "Select your vehicle" tool before you buy to make sure that the stereo fits your dashboard.

Boss Audio BVCP9675A Double Din, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, 6.75" Capacitive Touchscreen Mech-Less (No CD/DVD) AM/FM Receiver, MP3/USB

Avg. Price: $263 | Bargain Price: $224

This CarPlay-compatible head unit has a nice screen with a snappy interface, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers complain that their iPhone sometimes unpairs without warning.

Pioneer MVH-1400NEX Digital Multimedia Video Receiver Apple CarPlay with BlueTooth

Avg. Price: $300 | Bargain Price: $280

Pioneer's head unit is easy to install, powers up quickly and the easy-to-read display feels as responsive as a smartphone, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers are disappointed that this stereo doesn't have a traditional volume knob.

Soundstream VRCP-65 Double DIN 2-DIN 6.2" Apple CarPlay DVD MP3 CD Receiver Bluetooth SiriusXM-Ready + Remote and DCO Back-up Camera Night Vision Wide Angle View (Optional Camera)

Avg. Price: $240 | Bargain Price: $230

Soundstream's head unit is easy to install and sounds great, according to most Amazon reviewers. However, some of these same customers said that the AM/FM radio reception was poor and that the optional back-up camera didn't work as expected. 

John DeFeo