As a vehicle owner who regularly uses their car for the daily commute, the stereo system in your car is one of the important things in your life. Hearing your favourite tunes or your favourite radio station blasting through the stereo makes the daily mundane drives a bit more interesting and pleasant experience. And if you are an audiophile on top of it, then the quality of the stereo becomes even more important for you. You are probably already thinking all the time about upgrading your car stereo. One of the ways to do it is getting a new head unit. But while looking for the best head unit, you realize that there are a lot of things you need to understand before making that decision. What is a single DIN head unit? What is the best single DIN head unit for sound quality?
Don’t worry, because you’ll find answers to all of your questions here. Let’s get started then.
What is a Single DIN Head Unit?
To understand what is a single DIN head unit, let us first get to know – what is DIN?
German standards body Deutsches Institut fur Normung (DIN) created the standard DIN in the mid 80’s to standardize the radios BMW’s, Audi’s, Volkswagen’s and many more. After the successful adoption of the standard in German cars, it became the universal standard for car stereos later on. DIN specifies the height and the width of car head units and this is the reason why you can interchange most OEM car stereos. The standard has also made it possible to replace factory-fitted car stereos with aftermarket stereos.
A Single DIN Head Unit measures at 7 x 2 inches. If after measuring you find that your car stereo’s measurements are 7 x 2 inches, then that stereo is a single DIN head unit. You can only replace a factory installed single DIN head unit with another single DIN unit and not a double DIN unit. This is because of the obvious differences in size. A double DIN unit measures at 7 x 4 inches. So, if your car has a single DIN unit, then the slot for the head unit is already designed to fit a single DIN unit and as such, a double DIN unit won’t fit in there.
Basically, single DIN head units are the slim head units usually with a single knob for volume. While replacing your existing single DIN unit, you might notice that there is additional space above or below the head unit. This might lead you to think that the manufacture has kept the extra space as provision for you to upgrade to a double DIN unit. But actually, that extra space is usually for storage. So, do not forget to appropriately measure the extra space before deciding on a double DIN unit.
How to choose the best Single DIN Unit?
In order to choose best Single DIN head unit for your car, you need to consider the following factors in mind –
- Audio Modes & Playback Formats – These days, we use tons of different audio sources and playback formats on a daily basis without realising it. So, it is very important that you check out whether the playback formats like MP3, AAC, ALAC, WAV, FLAC and other common formats are supported by the head unit. The other thing to consider is the audio mode or connectivity features. Everyone has their own preferred connectivity feature that they like to use. So make sure to check whether the head unit you are buying supports the usual audio modes like AUX, Bluetooth, Radio, USB, SD Card or Apple Carplay for Apple users.
- Smartphone Integration – Smartphones are an integral part of our lives. As such, getting the car stereo integrated into your smartphone is a very handy feature to have. So, check out whether the head unit supports Apple Carplay or Android Auto. These features allow you to control your smartphone through the head unit making the driving experience a lot easier.
- Controls & Usability – This factor is one of the most overlooked one but probably one of the most important one. You’ll be using the head unit for controlling your music and a lot more while driving, so getting an idea of the usability of the head unit is paramount. Get a physical feel of the placement of the buttons, controls and the overall usability of the head unit before making a decision.
- Power – Figuring out the power output of a head unit is very important as it’ll decide the quality of the sound output from the speakers. For power, check out the RMS value of the head unit. Usually, having a high RMS value is good because it means the head unit will be able to provide the required quality of sound without distortion.
- Budget – Here comes the tricky part. To find the best single DIN head unit on a budget, you need to figure out your requirements from that unit first. This is because there are plenty of single DIN head units that will more than meet your requirements without burning a hole in your pocket.
- Additional Factors to consider – After figuring out all the above factors, you can look for other factors to make your stereo system even sweeter. Having features that facilitate the addition of external amps and woofers during later upgrades is always a welcome addition.
Best Single DIN Head Unit for Sound Quality
A great unit to consider if you are looking for the best single DIN head unit for sound quality, then we’d recommend buying the Kenwood KMM-BT322. Don’t let the simple interface fool you, the device will comfortably take care of all your needs.
It supports Bluetooth, FM/AM Radio, AUX, USB, dual phone connection and all the major playback formats. It also has some very nifty features like dual phone connection, bass boost, a graphic equalizer, a customizable display interface and many more. One of the coolest features is the 13-band equalizer in the head unit. It lets you gain complete control over the sound quality and tune it to how you like it.