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Single Din vs Double Din Car Stereo – Differences, Pros Cons & Verdict

You’re not the only one who doesn’t know the difference between double din and single din stereo head units. There are plenty of people asking for single din vs double din car stereo systems comparisons.

The major difference between these two head units is the size. Apart from that, there are some other differences too such as in sound quality, volume, durability, connectivity, networking, functionality, etc.

We’ve covered everything about these two car stereo units in this guide. Therefore, if you’ve any confusion regarding these, this guide’s going to wipe that off for sure.

Before we jump into the in-depth double din vs single din head unit comparison, let us walk you through a brief overview of these two head units.

Single din car head units are small and old vehicles are used to come with these stereo systems.

These units lack most of the latest features such as smart apps, touchscreen, multiple connectivity options, etc.

single din car stereo
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons:

The Benefits:

  • Single din units are super easy to install.
  • Easy to maintain, as the front cover can be removed easily
  • Comes at an affordable price

The Drawbacks:

  • Lacks most of the advanced features
  • Hard to use while driving due to small buttons
  • Lacks external amplifiers
  • Speakers aren’t very powerful

Advantages and Disadvantages of Double Din Head Unit

Double din units are bigger in height compared to single din, and now most of the cars come with double din stereo systems.

Unlike single din, most of the advanced features are found in double din head units that makes it impressive.

double din car stereo
Let's see the benefits and drawbacks of double din car stereo:

The Benefits:

  • Have large buttons and many controls
  • Comes with large displays
  • Some features advanced touch screen
  • Features GPS and music apps like navigation, carplay, etc.
  • Powerful amplifiers and speakers
  • High-quality audio sound
  • Several connectivity options

The Drawbacks:

  • Requires a little bit of modification while installing
  • Double dins are expensive

Single Din vs Double Din Head Unit - Head To Head Comparison

Size

The biggest difference between a single din and double din head unit is the size. Double-din head car stereo units are bigger than single ones and both come with their own set of benefits and flaws.

Single din head unit usually has a width of 7-inch and they’re 2 inches tall. Whereas, even though the width of a double din head unit is the same, they’re 4 inches tall. These two extra inches create a lot of differences which we’re about to go through.

Compatibility

If your car comes with a single din slot, you’ll have to install a single din stereo or a 1.5 din unit, you can’t install a double din unit due to the size restriction. But if the car has a slot for a double din head unit, then you have all the options. On a double din slot, you can install any of the stereo systems.

What about the extra space that’ll be left after installing a single din unit on a double din slot? Well, many use that as storage. You can store small items such as a phone, wallet, some cash, keys, etc.

Control

Due to some extra inches in double din head stereo systems, they come with more functions than the single din. The extra functions make controlling it easy for everyone.

It’s hard to spot the buttons on single din units while driving, as they’re small. Due to the extra space, the buttons on double-din heads are bigger than single-din units, which are easy to spot. 

Sound Quality

Compared to single din car stereo, double-din units come with bigger speakers and amplifiers, which results in loud sound.

Plus, double-din head unit’s speakers and amps are constructed better than single-din, as a result, the sound quality of double-din is superior to single-din head units.

Not only that, there are more modes in double-din which also make the sound better.

Durability

Usually, double-din stereos are heavily constructed which is why they are more durable than single-din units. Having that said, sometimes single din units also come with better quality, it actually depends on the manufacturer.

Customizable

Double-din units come in different types of faceplates and skins which enables you to change the stereo look and match it with the car’s interior. This is something a single-din stereo system lacks.

Smart Touchscreen

Almost all of the double-din stereos now come with smart touch screens which makes it super easy to use these systems.

They feature powerful processors, top-notch touch screen, and advanced apps like Carplay music apps, GPS, and other navigation software.

Touchscreen Car Stereo

Networking and Connectivity

Compared to single-din stereos, double-din ones come with more connectivity options. Double din features AUX inputs, USB ports, Micro USB, bluetooth, SD card slots, etc. All these options make it easy for the user to connect the phone or any other device with the stereo system.

Most of the modern double din stereos now come with WiFi and internet connectivity as well. Making it easier for you to connect and listen to your favorite thing easily while driving.

Installation Process

Single din head units are small, and don't require much modification when fitting in the dashboard. Whereas, double dins are slightly bigger and requires a little bit of work when fitting into the dash. Thus, installing single dins are easier.

Price

Double din head stereo systems come with advanced features such as several connectivity options, advanced touch screen, latest music and gps apps, etc. This is why they're more expensive than single din ones.

What is 1.5 Din?

They’re also called Din and a half. 1.5 din is the stereo system that is a little taller than the single din units but smaller than double din. These units are not as common as double or single din car stereo units. They are mostly seen in Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, and some trucks.

How Would I Know Which Din Size My Car Can Accommodate?

Which din size your car will be able to fit can be found by looking at the slot. If the height is 4 inches then, you can install all din sizes. But if the height is 2 inches, then you won’t be able to install a double din stereo. You’ll have to choose either a single or 1.5 din.

The easiest way to know the suitable din size for your vehicle is to check online. There are online tools that can tell the suitable din size if provided with the year and model of the vehicle.

FAQs

Which is better: double din or single din?

Even though double din stereos are expensive and the installation process is a bit complex, they’re still better than single din. You get a lot of advanced functions in double dins which single din units lack. On top of everything, the sound quality and durability of double din head units are way better than single ones.

Can you install a double DIN radio in a single DIN slot?

Nope! You can’t install a double din radio on a single din slot because of the size. Double din units come with a 4-inch height, whereas single din slots will have room for only 2-inch. Having that said, you can install a single din unit in a double din slot.

Why is it called double din?

The full form of DIN is Deutsches Institut fur Normung, it’s a german group that specifies the size of car radios. And since double dins have twice as much height as single din, that’s why they’re called double din.

How much does it cost to install a double DIN?

The price of double din stereo systems varies from brand to brand. But on average you’re looking at anywhere between $200 to $1000. Having that said, if the double din is loaded with advanced technologies such as apple carplay, android auto, cameras, advanced touch screen, GPS, wifi, etc. then the price might go above $1000.

Is 2 DIN the same as double DIN?

Yes, double din and 2 Din both are the same things. Different people call them differently.

Is my car single din?

Whether your car comes with a single din stereo or double din stereo that can be said by taking a look at the stereo system. If the height of the system is 2 inches, then it’s a single din head unit.

Final Verdict

Nowadays, single din car head units are rarely seen, and the latest vehicles are also not using the DIN standard anymore. But If compared both, then surely double din stereos win the battle.

If you’re on the fence between single din or double din car stereo, this head-to-head single din vs double din comparison will definitely help you understand the differences.

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