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Single Din vs Double Din Stereo – What’s The Difference?

Single Din vs Double Din

If you’re looking for a new car stereo, it can be very confusing trying to understand the difference between single din and double din stereos. They both look pretty much the same – so what exactly is the difference?

Well, that’s why we are here! We want to help you understand all about single din vs double din stereos.

So, please read on to find out everything you need to know. You might also want to take a look at our article called Stereo Installation Basics – which is really helpful if you are thinking of installing one yourself!

So what is the difference between single and double DIN car stereos?

The most obvious difference between single din and double din head units is size. Double Din Head Units are physically bigger than their Single Din counterparts – hence the ‘Double’ part of their name. But this isn’t all there is to it…

What is Din in Car Stereo?

Din is an industry standard for car stereo head units. It describes the size and shape of the head unit, as well as the mounting method. Most aftermarket head units are a double-DIN size, which is twice as tall as a single-DIN.

There are a few things to consider when buying a new car stereo head unit. The first is whether you want a single-DIN or double-DIN unit.

What is single-DIN Car Stereo?

As the name implies, a single-DIN (or 1-DIN) car stereo is a single unit that fits into a slot of a specific size in your dash. A single-DIN head unit is usually about 2 inches tall by 7 inches wide.

A single-DIN car stereo is the most common type of head unit on the market. It is generally less expensive than a double-DIN unit and is easier to install. Single-DIN head units also take up less space in your car, which can be a consideration if you have a small car or a tight fit in your dash.

Key Features of single-DIN Car Stereo:

  • Easier to install
  • Takes up less space in your car
  • Less expensive than a double-DIN head unit

Some Cons of Single Din Stereo

  • May have limited features compared to a double-DIN unit
  • Screen may be small and difficult to see
  • Buttons may be close together and difficult to use

What is double-DIN Car Stereo?

A double-DIN (or 2-DIN) car stereo is a larger unit that takes up twice the space of a single-DIN head unit. A double-DIN car stereo is usually about 4 inches tall by 7 inches wide.

A double-DIN car stereo can offer more features than a single-DIN unit, such as a built-in touchscreen display, GPS navigation, and DVD playback. Double-DIN head units are also generally more expensive than single-DIN units.

If you have a double-DIN opening in your dash, you can choose either a single-DIN or double-DIN car stereo. However, if you have a single-DIN opening, you will need to get a single-DIN car stereo.

Key Features of double-DIN Car Stereo:

  • More features than a single-DIN head unit
  • Built-in touchscreen display
  • GPS navigation
  • DVD playback

Some Cons of Double Din Stereo:

  • More expensive than a single-DIN head unit
  • May be too big for some cars
  • Can be more difficult to install

Single DIN vs Double DIN Stereos: Major Differences

1. There are several basic types of car stereo – standard, premium, high performance and super high performance.

2. Once you have decided on a make and model, it will be easy to decide which is the right stereo for your car.

3. The next thing you want to decide is whether you want a single din or double din…and why?

4. A Double Din Head Unit is just that – it takes up two spaces in your dash (hence the name). A Single Din head unit only takes up one slot. If your dashboard isn’t pre-cut for a double din, then you’ll need to get this done at an auto sound store before installing.

5. Double DIN units will give you more options for features and inputs…but really big screens can take up more room than you might think.

6. If you want to install an after market head unit like a Pioneer, Single or Double DIN will make little difference to your installation costs because most manufacturers design both standard and double DIN stereos with the same mounting points…and brackets are just brackets! The only reason you would need to get new ones is if your dash is pre-cut for one size but not the other.

7. When it comes to audio performance, there is very little between them – if any at all. You can certainly get awesome audio quality from either type of stereo. We have tested Premium & High Performance 6” touch screens that sound awesome!

8. What about safety? argument in favor of the double din is that they provide a lot more space behind the head unit, which can be used for routing wires from accessories…like rear view cameras and GPS receivers. This makes it much easier to keep them neat and out of sight.

9.  Another thing you might want to know is that a Double Din Head Unit has a larger screen than a Single Din, which is great…if you’re into watching movies!

10.  The last point to cover here is theft prevention. There are some cars that have had their stereos stolen time after time because there was nothing to stop the thieves simply ripping them out of the dash. If you don’t think this will be a problem for you, then you might not even need to worry about this. If it is a concern, the best thing you can do is get a head unit that has an anti-theft system built in…or one with car specific security integration kit.

Hands free kits are also available for most stereos – so if its important to have voice control with hands free operation, choose a stereo with this feature.

Touch screen stereos are also becoming more common – they offer the user all sorts of features like iPod connections and Bluetooth integration…and they look cool too!

If you would like to know more about our range of touch screen car stereos, click here now.

James is the co-founder and lead writer at He has an extensive background in car audio, having been involved in the industry for over a decade.

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