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What is the Difference Between Single DIN and Double DIN Car Stereo?

James Benchman
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by James Benchman

When it comes to car stereos, there are a lot of things that we as drivers and music consumers don’t understand about the systems we are already using. It becomes even more important for us to be educated especially if we are going hands-on with troubleshooting our stereo , upgrading it, or installing new features.

Even advanced stereo technicians need to brush up on their skills from time to time and as systems become more technologically advanced. In addition to all the parts that make music sound great when driving, there are also accessories that can make a stereo system uniquely wonderful for you individually.

There are two different German-made standards in a stereo unit, the single DINand the double DIN. These two models actually set the standard for stereo systems worldwide and are still in use today after being developed by the International Organization for Standardization.

Before deciding which one will work for the system you’re building or the system you have, it’s advantageous to know the differences, and the pros and cons of each. Even if you’re not planning on improving your car’s stereo system now, it’s helpful for if you ever do.

What Are You Working With?

Whatever car you’re driving, it is already equipped with either a single din or a double din stereo. Whichever it is, if you’re looking to make improvements or switch systems completely, it’s worth knowing which one you have.

If you have a larger stereo, chances are it’s a double DIN. If your stereo looks a bit more traditional or is simply smaller, it’s likely a single DIN.

In terms of specifics, a double DIN stereo will measure at about 7 by 4 inches, while a single DIN will measure at about 7 by 2 inches. Therefore, a double din will be twice as tall.

That’s not to say that a double DIN system can’t be replaced by a single DIN. There’s also the option of improving a double DIN with a new and improved model.

If you do have a single din in your car already, then you won’t be able to accommodate the size of a double din. Not to worry, both systems can be just as workable. It’s mostly just a size issue.

Once you know which system your car is equipped with, you are on your way to learning exactly how it works and what makes it different from the alternative.

What is the Difference Between Single DIN and Double DIN Stereo?

The main difference between single DIN and double DIN stereo is their Size. Single DIN stereo is two inches tall and 7 inches wide while double DIN stereo is four inches tall and 7 inches wide.

What is a Double Din?

While there aren’t many differences between the two, there are aesthetic differences that are quite obvious. The double din is referred to as just that because the actual size is similar to two single dins stacked on top of each other.

As far as technological differences, the double din model can accommodate several more features than the single din, mostly to do with its larger size. Perhaps the most obvious difference is that double din systems can come with a touch screen, which makes functioning more simplified.

Some other different features included in a double din include: more storage, DVD players with a digital display, HD video screens, and advanced connectivity.

The double DIN system is then mostly included in newer car models, and are great for the tech-savvy generation. A double DIN system can also come equipped with various smart options like a camera, easy integration with smart phones, and depending on your preference, an overall better usability.

These advanced features usually sway a listener, and have become more of the norm in the modern day. Because there is an option to switch from one double DIN to the other, there are always room for improvements and more advanced features as the years go on.

What is a Single DIN?

A single din is therefore half the size of a double DIN, which will take up less space on your console. A single DIN also lacks some of the features that have become common stance for a double din system.

If you’re driving a classic car, chances are you will have a single din system, and one you can’t upgrade so easily, but some prefer to follow the advice, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Because single din stereos can only be replaced by other single din systems, there is less of a variety of features, even though the sound quality can be just as good.

Which is Better?

Determining which sound system is better for your car listening all depends on personal preference, as it does with any other sound accessory you may want to install to heighten the listening experience or eliminate potential problems in your factory speakers.

Double DIN systems, though larger, aren’t necessarily of better sound quality. Single DIN and double DIN systems are quite comparable when it comes down to it. The main difference between the two lies in usability, features, and advanced technology. It also can be a concern depending on which kind of car stereo you already have.

Improving or changing your car stereo is all about the individual, some choose to make improvements based on what type of music they listen to, how loudly, and how often. Others might not be affected by what their stereo can do, and are more concerned with it being functional in the long term.

What We’ve Learned

Now that you know the difference between these two systems, you can tell pretty much immediately which type of system is already installed in your car. You will also be prepared to choose which, if any, replacements need to be made.

Learning about your sound system will allow for a listening experience that fits with what you need and want while driving and listening. And that is invaluable.

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About James Benchman
James Benchman
James is an Automotive Mechanic with over 20 years experience and 300+ car repairs. He is an expert with cars and has worked with different models from the biggest brands. James is a Mechanic , Husband , Father of 3 , and head of content at Caraudiologic. Learn more about us
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