Best Touch Screen for a Jeep Wrangler TJ – Complete Guide

Jeep Tj radio upgrade

The Jeep Wrangler Tj and YJ both came equipped with a single DIN radio. Over the years this has been an issue with compatibility for modern radios that offer the best performance. Here in 2021, the double-DIN radio (2din) has come as a factory option for many years now.  They offer more compatibility and capacities for higher-performing stereo systems. 

This may be a surprise for you but, it is possible to install a touchscreen radio into a Jeep Wrangler TJ. All you need to do is find a single din touchscreen radio to make it work. Below is how to tell the difference between a 1 DIN radio and a 2 DIN radio.

Sorry, there are no links within this article to take you to a product listing. I am here to provide you information, not sell you items. That being said the product numbers for each item, except one, will be provided so you can dig into each product further if you choose.

Single DIN vs Double DIN head unit – what is the difference 

Image of single-DIN

Deminsions:

2″x7″ 

Single DIN (1 DIN)

A single-DIN (1 DIN) radio is smaller in size. This is an advantage for our compact Jeep Wranglers that need to fit many systems into a small package.  The single-DIN radio is often left in the past, with little to no support for any other head unit beside the well-known LED flashing ugly step-sibling radio.  Not exactly a tasteful addition to any vehicle. 

The main drawback to the single DIN head unit is its little support for a touch screen, camera functionality, phone applications (Apple Car-Plat, Android Auto), and finally less UI support for more complex stereo speaker installations. 

Image of double-DIN

Deminsions:

4″x7″

Double DIN (2 DIN)

A double-DIN radio these days is the most common factory and aftermarket head unit. The only drawback to a double-DIN (2 DIN) radio is its large size. 

Best Jeep Wrangler Radios (Single-DIN)

Yea, I didn’t even give you the name for this one. Look if you want, a $139.00 touch screen radio have at it! There are plenty of them out there. Just type in cheap single din touch screen on google and about 400 will pop up. All mainly from the same labor mill in China. Although all of this list is made in China, having at least a name brand to back up the product is helpful. They have a reputation to uphold, so they cannot sell garbage at the very least. A radio for under $150 has nothing to lose.

Boss BE9ACP-C

Stepping up in quality here. Boss is a respectable brand that has been around for many years now. While they are not known for the most luxurious products, they are well priced for the average joe. Hey, with that price it even comes with a backup camera. Great for backing out of the buggy line and moving back over to the bypass… where most of us belong anyways; including myself. Along with your backup camera, you will get the included 9″ touch screen.

6.8″ Pioneer DMH-C2550NEX – My pick

Stepping into another class of quality, for the remainder of the guide, you will only see pioneer and sony. That is not to say other manufactures do not offer great quality. It’s just that other manufactures’ radios are not readily available from my research and experience.

The main price saving comes from the size of the screen instead of compromising on quality. That is why this touch screen radio has earned my choice.

Sony XAV-AX8000

Growing up across all my vehicles; it’s a lot of them. Sony was a common trend for my head unit selection over the years. I was too cheap to purchase anything new back then. Well, I was too broke to purchase anything new back then! You can say I was a master at finding deals on craigslist.

I’ve been through many phases of my life. The whole 6x 12″ subs with the back seats removed is a notable phase I remember. I was delivering Chinese food my junior year of high school jamming out with my cheap Sony flashing LED head unit, 6 12″ subwoofers, and half-blown speakers. Good times!

This head unit is a solid choice with an international brand and customer support team to help with any problems you may face.

Pioneer 8″ DMH-C5500NEX

The 8″ pioneer touchscreen radio is the 6.8″ screens brother. The finish is much more refined, and the price tag is much higher. If I had the money, this product would definitely be a major contender for my tj.

The only notable drawback from what I have seen are no physical buttons. If the radio ever did decide to bug out, you would be left with your gas station Bluetooth speaker until it comes back from the warranty claim.

Is changing a radio on a Jeep Wrangler TJ hard?

No, changing the head unit out is a simple task for a Jeep TJ or Jeep YJ. There is not much that stands between us removing the radio. Typically what is required is some basic wiring know-how, a few tools, and a dozen or so butt connections.

Oh and if you’re curious if a double din stereo can work for your TJ. Here is Jeep Gear & Gadgets showing you how!

Conslusion:

No matter which option you decide to go with, make sure your research is thorough. The last possible way I want to spend my outing around town in my jeep is without working speakers. Mainly due to the grinding noises I need to drown out to feel like my jeep is safe to drive over 50 MPH.

Joking aside, a head unit is going to be a major investment for your jeep project. A touch screen radio will provide great value, especially in a manual jeep. The ability to see google maps, change songs, and accept or decline phone calls is a great value.

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