How to Upgrade the Head Unit of a Honda Odyssey for Better Sound and Connectivity?

March 10, 2024

Today, we will delve into the specifics of how you can upgrade the head unit of your Honda Odyssey to improve the sound quality and enhance connectivity. We’ll discuss various aspects such as adding a better camera, installing a radio that supports Android, enhancing the system’s screen and audio, and more.

With advancements in technology, even a car’s factory-installed head unit can become outdated over time. Upgrading the head unit of your Honda Odyssey could significantly enhance your driving experience by bringing in high-quality sound and better smartphone integration via Android or Apple CarPlay.

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Upgrading the Head Unit

The head unit, also known as a car stereo, is the heart of your Honda Odyssey’s entertainment system. It is here that all the magic happens—from playing your favorite music tracks to helping you navigate the cityscape with GPS navigation. Upgrading the head unit, therefore, can have a dramatic effect on your driving experience.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to replace the factory head unit. The market is flooded with a variety of head units that offer features such as a larger screen, better audio output, and advanced connectivity options. Some of these units even come with a built-in camera that assists in parking and reversing.

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When selecting a new head unit, pay attention to the size compatibility with your Honda Odyssey, the supported audio formats, and the presence of relevant features like an auxiliary input, Bluetooth connectivity, and even a CD/DVD player if you still use those.

Installing a Better Camera

Adding a camera to your car stereo system can significantly enhance safety by providing a clearer view of the back and sides of your car. This is particularly useful when parking in tight spots or when there are children or pets around.

Today’s market offers a wide range of cameras that can seamlessly integrate with your car’s stereo system. These cameras provide high-definition video output, ensuring that you can clearly see everything behind your car on the head unit’s screen.

Installation of the camera generally involves mounting it at the back of your car, routing the video cable through to the head unit, and connecting it to the video input of your upgraded unit. After some initial setup, the camera will automatically activate when you shift your Honda Odyssey into reverse.

Adding Android and CarPlay Support

Smartphone integration is a key feature of modern car stereo systems. By integrating Android Auto or Apple CarPlay into your Honda Odyssey’s head unit, you can access your favorite apps, get turn-by-turn navigation, receive hands-free calls and texts, and more.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay work by mirroring your smartphone’s interface on the head unit’s screen. The installation process typically involves connecting your smartphone to the head unit via a USB cable, although some newer units also support wireless connectivity.

Remember to check that the unit you’re planning to install supports either Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or both, depending on the type of smartphone you use.

Enhancing the Sound System

A good sound system is crucial for an enjoyable on-the-road audio experience. While your Honda Odyssey’s factory-installed speakers may serve you well, upgrading them alongside the head unit can dramatically improve your car’s audio quality.

When upgrading the speakers, consider their size, power handling capabilities, and sensitivity. Also, look for speakers that are made of durable materials to ensure they can withstand the vibrations and harsh conditions inside a moving car.

For even better sound quality, consider adding a subwoofer and an amplifier. The subwoofer will add depth to your music by producing low-frequency sounds that regular speakers can’t handle, while the amplifier will boost the audio signal, ensuring crisp and clear sound at all volume levels.

Wheel Control Integration

Lastly, if your Honda Odyssey has steering wheel controls for the stereo, you’ll want to ensure these can still function after the head unit upgrade. Thankfully, many aftermarket head units are compatible with steering wheel controls. You will, however, need a separate interface that can translate the signals from the wheel controls to the new head unit.

The process of integrating wheel controls involves connecting the interface to both the car’s wiring harness and the back of the new head unit. Once installed, you can control the volume, change tracks, answer calls, and more, all from the comfort of your steering wheel.

Upgrading the head unit of your Honda Odyssey can seem like a daunting task, given the technicalities involved. However, with the right guides and perhaps a little professional help, you can significantly enhance your car’s audio and connectivity features. Whether you’re a daily commuter, a long-distance traveler, or a parent who needs to keep the kids entertained, such an upgrade could definitely improve your driving experience.

Touch Screen Upgradation

One of the aspects that can significantly boost the functionality and aesthetics of your Honda Odyssey’s head unit is a touch screen upgrade. A larger, high-resolution touch screen not only enhances visibility but also offers a more intuitive user experience.

Many modern touch screen head units offer features like pinch-to-zoom functionality and swipe controls, similar to a tablet or smartphone. This makes it easy to navigate through menus, adjust settings, or even browse through your music library. Furthermore, a larger screen can display more information at a glance, such as GPS navigation details, incoming call or text notifications, and even real-time data from your car’s diagnostic systems.

Touch screen units are available in a range of sizes, typically from 6.2 inches up to 10.1 inches. Some units even offer a split-screen feature, which allows you to view and control two functions simultaneously. For instance, you could have GPS navigation displayed on one half of the screen and your music controls on the other.

Remember, the key to a successful upgrade is compatibility. Make sure the touch screen unit you choose fits the dashboard of your Honda Odyssey. Also, verify that the unit supports Android Auto or Apple CarPlay if you plan on using these features.

The Value of Member Posts and Community Guidance

While it’s possible to upgrade the head unit of your Honda Odyssey on your own, don’t underestimate the value of member posts and community guidance. Automotive forums and social media groups are treasure troves of information, offering everything from product recommendations to step-by-step installation guides.

Looking through member posts can provide real-world insights into the performance and reliability of specific head units. These posts also often include tips and advice that can make the installation process smoother and help you avoid common pitfalls.

Whether you’re stuck trying to connect your Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, unsure how to integrate your steering wheel controls, or simply need recommendations for a good touch screen unit, don’t hesitate to turn to the community. Fellow Honda Odyssey owners, experienced car audio enthusiasts, and even professional installers are often more than willing to share their knowledge and experience.


In conclusion, upgrading the head unit of your Honda Odyssey is a worthy investment that can significantly improve your driving experience. Whether it’s the enhanced sound quality, better connectivity options with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a larger touch screen, or the improved safety of a rear-view camera, the benefits are many.

As you undertake this project, remember to consider factors like size compatibility, audio format support, and the availability of features that you frequently use, such as Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel control integration.

Take the time to browse through member posts on automotive forums or social media groups. Gleaning from the experiences and insights of others can save you plenty of time and effort. Most importantly, don’t rush the process. Upgrading your car audio system is an investment, and taking the time to do it right will ensure you enjoy the benefits for years to come. Happy upgrading!