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Best HUD

Are you looking for tech to help you take your driving to the next level? Do you want something both stylish and safe to help you navigate in unfamiliar places? There’s a new technology called a heads-up display (or HUD) which originally started out in fighter jets, but has since been adapted to work in cars, which is great news for people who spend a lot of time on the road.

 A HUD works by projecting important information onto your windshield so you can keep your eyes on the road whilst navigating, making it both functional and very safe. Even better, we’ve reviewed four of the best models on the market to save you the trouble of separating the good from the bad and help bring your car into the future, today.

Best HUD – Comparison Table

Below, we’ve condensed each HUD into an easy to read, at a glance overview. We’ve included a couple of relevant specifications to help you get a feel for each HUD and see how it compares to its rivals.

Here are the best HUD’s of 2018, updated monhtly.

Product NameRoute NavigationPower Supply
PowerLead Puda D002NoOBD II
Eoncore HUDNoOBD II
Navdy HUDYesOBD II
Kingneed SpeedometerNoUSB

Now that you’ve looked over each of our top recommendations, we’re going to go a little further in depth with each of them and see how well they perform, how useful they are and where they really excel, starting with the PowerLead Puda D002.

1

PowerLead Puda D002 – Best Beginner’s HUD

The PowerLead Puda D002 is a slim and modern HUD that projects various important information directly onto your windshield. This information can be customized, so if you’re only interested in your speed, you can hide all the other data, which is nice since the display can appear quite cluttered with everything displaying at once and some of it isn’t really useful (satellite number, for example).

The brightness of the display can be automatically or manually adjusted to account for brighter driving conditions, which is a plus, and we really liked the ability to switch from kilometers to miles. This little touch makes this product so much more versatile and expands its reach to countries other than America. It also automatically powers on when you start your vehicle, which is a nice touch.

The display is 5.5” inches in size and we found the multi-coloured display to be very helpful. Information contrasts well and we never found our eyes struggling to differentiate between various pieces of data. The white and yellow colour scheme might not appeal to everyone, but we found it to stand out well and it caused us no problems.

Another good thing about this model is that it comes with a free twelve-month warranty and 30-day exchange in case you run into trouble or change your mind about the product. We’d definitely be more inclined towards buying something with such a strong commitment to customer service, so we’re glad PowerLead have included this.

Overall, we can’t fault this HUD. It does exactly what it says it does, is reasonably priced and looks great. If you’re interested in trying out a HUD for the first time, you can’t go wrong with this one.

PROS
  • Great warranty
  • Customizable display
  • Automatically turns on and off
CONS
  • Colour scheme might not appeal to everyone
2

Eoncore HUD – Best HUD For Long Journeys

Like the PowerLead HUD, this model has a 5.5” display and a lot of information to show, however, what differentiates it is the quality of information on offer. For example, where the PowerLead offers satellite number and altitude information, the Eoncore provides a fatigue reminder, engine temperature, and fault code elimination.

 We found this information to be a lot more relevant to our journey, and therefore more useful overall. We also liked that the information had a more varied colour scheme than the PowerLead model, which not only made it even easier to tell figures apart but looked great when driving at night.

It also includes a few different alarms to notify you of low voltage, an engine fault, high temperature or speeding, and thankfully, the alarm itself isn’t ear-splitting: it measures in at 30dB, which is about as loud as a library (we know that’s a difficult noise to visualise, but trust us, you’ll hear it).

There are only a couple of downsides to this HUD: the first is that it offers only partial support for trucks. If your truck has an OBDII connection, you’ll likely get speedometer output but other information might not work, which is a shame.

The second downside is that if your car doesn’t have auto start/stop, it doesn’t turn itself on and off automatically, so you’ll have to do it yourself. There’s nothing worse than getting into your car to go somewhere and finding the battery has been drained. Realistically, though, as long as you remember to turn it off before parking up, you’ll be fine.

There’s a lot to like about this model, and if you don’t have a truck, there’s really nothing stopping this from being your new driving buddy. It does the job and does it well.

PROS
  • Good use of colour to differentiate various information
  • Information on display is highly relevant and informative
  • Reasonably priced
CONS
  • If you don't have auto start/stop in your car, it requires a manual shutoff
  • Doesn't work in trucks
3

Navdy HUD – Best Car HUD

Okay, so let’s be clear: the Navdy HUD is a whole different ball game. It’s a high-end HUD with a high-end price tag and comes packed with every feature you can image. Route navigation? Check. Message and call alerts? Check. Various driving metrics? Check.

Instead of projecting the information onto your windshield, it all appears directly on the small transparent screen mounted to the top of the unit. This screen automatically dims and night and adjusts its brightness based on environmental brightness.

Navdy goes one step further, though. They also allow you to control your music from Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play or your phone by using hand gestures. Yes, you read that right. Swiping your hand in front of the front camera performs various context-sensitive actions like changing track or dismissing alerts.

Messages are read aloud and replies can be dictated back using Siri or Google Assistant, and all driving metrics can be customized to show only the relevant information, which is a nice touch. Not only can you see your route as you drive, this HUD also shows you traffic density which allows you to find an alternate route and avoid traffic jams. This is immensely useful for a variety of reasons, as we’re sure you can imagine.

Honestly, the Navdy is exactly what we look for in a HUD, and its only real disadvantage is its high price tag. It’s a lot of money to spend on a driving accessory, however, we predict that this technology will continue to expand and evolve, which will drive the price down. If you have the money to spare and you want the best, it’s Navdy all the way.

PROS
  • Packed with features: call handling, live traffic reports, route navigation
  • Supports gesture control
  • Makes multitasking whilst driving simple and easy
CONS
  • Expensive
4

Kingneed Speedometer – Best Simple HUD

If you’re looking to try out HUD technology, but you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money doing it, Kingneed has got you covered. Their model is a simple one, offering just a speedometer and distance tracker.

The design of this HUD is very simplistic: black plastic with three buttons for toggling what’s on the display or changing units of measurement, and a cable which plugs into your cigarette lighter. This means that regardless of what kind of vehicle you have, you can use this. Even if your car isn’t OBDII compatible, it’ll work, which is something none of the other HUDS in this list can say.

The main issue we had with this product is that it has very limited output options. Sure, simplicity is nice, but ideally, we’d have liked to see a little more information offered. Secondly, the instructions that come with this unit are in broken English and are a little difficult to make out. Thankfully, though, due to the simple nature of this unit, you can work it out by yourself.

 There’s an alarm that sounds if you go over the speed limit and the display brightness automatically adjusts thanks to a light sensor built into the unit, but that’s essentially the limit of this HUDs functionality.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though if you need to buy multiple HUDs for your business or to track employee’s distance traveled, the Kingneed might just be perfect for you due to its low cost.

PROS
  • Simple to use
  • Inexpensive
  • USB powered
CONS
  • Limited information displayed
  • Instructions weren't very useful

Best HUD - Buyer's Guide

Heads up displays are new technology, and as a result, a lot of people aren’t sure what to look for when buying one. You can breathe easy though because we’ve taken some time to summarize a few important things to think about before you actually make a purchase that could really help you out in the long run.

Functionality

Every HUD displays different information. You’ll almost always get a speedometer and a distance tracker, but more advanced models can also tell you if you’re speeding, if your engine has a fault or even your vehicle’s internal temperature. This is why it pays to check exactly what information is displayed before you buy.

Similarly, some displays can be hard to see in bright driving conditions. HUDs usually have either a manual brightness setting or an automatic one which changes the brightness based on the level of light its sensor receives. If you can’t change the brightness, don’t buy it!

Connection

Most mid-range HUDs rely on a connection to an OBDII or EUOBD connector. This allows them to receive more in-depth information about your vehicle than a simple cigarette lighter style model, but bear in mind that if your vehicle is really old, you might not have the connection you need, and so won’t be able to use the HUD at all! If you’re interested in reading more about onboard diagnostics, you can find a helpful little article about it here.

Display

There are two kinds of display that a HUD can have: either it projects information onto your windshield, or it has its own screen. The projecting type are a lot less expensive but can cause a blurry or “doubled” image. This is easily resolved using a special adhesive film which attaches to the inside of your windshield and changes the way light reflects. Most of the time, the HUD will come with this adhesive, but if not, it’s available for just a few dollars online.

Another important thing to note: it’s worth getting a non-slip mat for your HUD since they do have a tendency to slide around as you drive, and if there’s one thing you don’t want, it’s to look for your speedometer and find it next to your passenger side mirror.

Conclusion


Each product in this list is the best in its respective area, but we found that the best HUD overall was the Navdy. It’s a lot more expensive, sure, but the massive range of features and slick interface, not to mention the ability to monitor traffic as you drive makes it an invaluable addition to your vehicle. We hope that the price comes down in future, though since we believe that HUDs really are the future of the auto industry and suspect that the high cost might discourage people from trying it out.

We pride ourselves on the breadth and depth of our research and sincerely hope that this article has been useful to you. If so, feel free to leave a comment and think of us the next time you need help with a purchasing decision. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and drive safe.