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What Is Single Din and Double Din – The Differences.

If you are planning to go for car stereo shopping, one of the things you should check is the din size on your car. If you are unaware about din size, you need not worry. We have got your back. Simply put, DIN indicates the size of your car stereo.  Most car stereo units come in two size categories. They are referred to as single DIN and double DIN. Thus, most of our contemporary vehicles have either a single or double DIN dash receptacle.

The DIN standard was created in the mid 1980s by the German standards body DeushesInstitut fur Normung (DIN). The aim of the unit was to standardise the car radio size of BMWs, Audis, Volkwagen, and many more. After successful adoption in German cars, the DIN later became a universal standard for all car stereos.

What is a single din radio?

Single din stereos are 2 inches tall and seven inches wide.  They are the traditional car radios and you can go for it if you want to give a retro look to your car. Although these sets have buttons on them and give a simplistic vibe on the outside, they can still possess exciting features. Such features include functionality and add-on capability.

What is a double din radio?

Double din radios are four inches tall and seven inches wide.  The Double DIN head units are around 7 x 4 inches. As already mentioned, the main difference is in the size of the two stereo systems.

These days ‘double dins’ are the most common and also the most popular type of car radio units. Some of them also come with built in (or modified) features such as amplifiers.  Amps help in improving the overall sound quality of the stereo system.

If your car had previously a Single DIN (factory fitted) radio then you won’t be able to put a Double DIN. That’s because the double din require almost twice the space of that of a single din. And if the factory fitted provides space for a single din only, you cannot insert a double sin stereo in its place.

In terms of features, a double din usually has the touch screen feature and supports functions like GPS, DVD playback and more


You might as well come across something called a “DIN-and-a-half” size. However, stereo manufacturers these days avoid making those. Thus, in case you come across ‘din and a half’ size stereo, it must be of an older car model. This feature was seen in a lot of older GM vehicles.

These days, you can also find head units that can be used as detachable android tablets as well. Such mobility and dual performance capability is an ‘add on’. These enable you to use the same car stereo unit as an android tablet when you’re not driving. Amazing, isn’t it?

What should you go for:  single-DIN or double-DIN?

View to the gray interior of car
A Double DIN Radio

Well, that depends on who’s asking. If your needs are basic stereo functions like power and sound controls, then they’re almost the same. Double-DIN stereos provide more space for the controls, thus making it easier for the user.

The major difference has to be the presence and absence of a touch screen. Generally speaking,touch screen car radio usually means that it’s a double-DIN size. However, there are a few single din units which provide fold out touch screens.

  • Advantages of touch screen stereo:
  • Easy to operate and exciting user experience.
  • Better phone stereo integration.
  • Rear-view camera.
  • Onscreen GPS navigation

On the problem side, you need to know that touch screen stereos are also a little more difficult to install. That’s because you have to connect a few extra wires.

What is the difference between a single din and double din radio?

As already mentioned, you get a double size with the double din head unit. This makes room for many more features than a single din. Let’s now look at some of the add ons which is made possible by the double din head unit and compare the same with single dins.

DVD Player

Although not all double DIN products have a built-in DVD player, double din is the only type of head unit that makes such a feature possible.

High Definition Screen

Double DIN products are known for their screen quality. This is where you will find HD graphics compared to the block type fonts. However, you can get some impressive clarity from a single DIN screen as well.


Both double and single DIN head units offer a range of connectivity options. Thus, regarding this feature the differences are minimal. The option to plug in via USB or connect via Bluetooth is very common. However, some outdated head units might not have these features.

Audio Quality

The sound quality is the primary concern for most audiophile car owners who are serious about their music. So if you are one who wants to get the most out of their sound system, you should know that very little of this comes down to the DIN size. Factors like car amplifiers and preamps are more significant for this purpose. Thus good quality speakers should be the priority.


Although most headsets ( both single and double DIN) come with CD player slots, this feature is getting outdated in contemporary times. Hence it is important to go for a single or double DIN unit that can get connected to your device efficiently to stream your music. Bluetooth and radio is a must. You need to know that many modern products cannot connect to AM/FM, or satellite radio. So if you are habituated to tuning in to your favorite station, make sure that the product you are considering has the feature. 


Car radio set navigation double DIN frame

So, we saw that you can either go for a single or a double DIN headset depending on your preferences and the space provided by the factory built system. If you want old school retro style features, you can go for single din. And if you want modern features like touch screen go for a double din.

11 thoughts on “What Is Single Din and Double Din – The Differences.”

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