Double DIN vs Single DIN Car Stereos: What’s the Difference

Double DIN vs Single DIN Car Stereos: What’s the Difference

08:45 AM March 28, 2019

A single DIN car stereo or a double DIN car stereo, which would you pick? What makes these radio setups different from each other? What features are preferred by certain types of drivers, and what should customers avoid when looking at available market options? We had similar questions, and researched the topic to collect the best information regarding DIN and double DIN car stereos.

Well, I’ve got good news! At the end of this article, you will know significantly more about both types of DIN car stereos, and you might even say to yourself, “Damn I am so getting this particular DIN stereo speaker.”


What’s DIN?

DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) refers to a line of german internationally recognized technical standards used by car stereo manufacturers all over the world.

The standard specifies a height and width, but not length for a car’s head stereo unit, sometimes referred to as a car’s deck. Common configurations of the DIN setup are the 1DIN head unit or 2 DIN unit. A car’s head unit provides a unified hardware interface (mainly, the screen and buttons), for the entire system. These are the basic attributes of the DIN system that are common in different vehicles around the world. Now, let’s review the differences between the single and double DIN configurations.

Single DIN vs Double DIN: Differences


  • DIN single stereo speakers differ from double DIN speakers in terms of size. As is made evident by the “double,” the latter option is physically larger.
  • The double DIN’s faceplate measures 7×4 inches while, the single DIN stereo measures 7×2 inches. The single DIN system offers a smaller interface for a more subtle design on the controls, but the larger double DIN system offers ease-of-use and some additional components.
  • Clearly, the size is something to consider when deciding between single and double DIN stereo options. While the smaller single DIN system may be appealing for those without interest in the aesthetic design of the stereo, the large double DIN interface allows for more customization and tech modifications.

single din head unit


  • The single DIN car stereo has less features, as its size limits the amount of functionality that can be accommodated. The double DIN car stereo, on the other hand, has developed over the years to include increasingly more technological features and connections. Some of these being HD video interface, GPS mapping, and even game console compatibility in the back seat, great for long road trips with the kids.
  • Its audio sources are commendable, and give optimal experience when compared to the single DIN stereo. The double DIN stereo has integrated compatibility with various apps and devices, including your cell phone to avoid on-the-road distraction. The double DIN stereo’s radio receiver is also more sophisticated, offering an enhanced quality experience as compared to the single DIN alternative.


  • As discussed above, a double DIN stereo, being larger, offers a lot of attractive features that are considered to be “smart technology.” Touch screens, cell phone integration, and application connectivity are among the features that might attract the modern digital user.
  • In terms of usability, it is argued that the single DIN car stereo lags behind in terms of this added functionality, but the absence of complexity does make for a simpler design. For the older generations that are tired of all the technology, or for the minimalist that wants to keep driving as simple as possible, the single DIN radio might be the preferred option. I personally sympathize with this sentiment; drivers are way too distracted on the road, and could use less technology while driving than is currently available. For this reason, I would choose the single DIN stereo system. Plus, I still get to listen to my music and enjoy other benefits of a modern stereo system.
  • The differences are obviously glaring on the basis of usability between the single and double DIN stereo systems.

double din head unit


  • So far in terms of size, features, and usability as discussed above, it is quite clear that the double DIN car stereo is different from the single DIN version in many respects. We now look at the differences in terms of cost and value.
  • As you may have expected, based on the outline above, the double DIN car stereo system is significantly more expensive then the single DIN alternative. This difference ranges to be around $200 or $300 more. The option to customize the double DIN, in combination with the added features, makes the larger car stereo system a more substantial expense. The lesser price of the single DIN system reflects the feature differences between the two stereo hardwares.


The differences between the single and double DIN car stereo systems have been outlined to enhance the reader’s understanding of the topic. If you are thinking about changing your car stereo speaker, use this review to make the purchase decision that will meet your lifestyle and driving preferences.

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