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If you are in the market for a new radio for your vehicle, you’ve probably done a bit of research, looked at various sound system installation kits and have likely come across the term DIN or double-DIN (sometimes called 2-DIN). If you’ve landed here, you are probably wondering:
“What is a double-DIN car stereo?”
To answer that question, it is first necessary to understand that DIN is an acronym for Deutsches Institut für Normung, which translates to “German Institute for Standardization.”
The history of DIN stretches back to 1917 and was developed as a series of technical standards for products and processes. As far as car radios are concerned, DIN applies to the size of a radio (and the radio chassis size) for vehicles. Therefore, double-DIN basically means twice the size of a DIN radio.
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However, this only leads us to our next question:
What Size Is a DIN Radio?
The original standard created by the German Institute for Standardization for radios is 50mm tall and 180mm wide (or two by seven inches). However, it is important to note that there is no maximum or minimum depth. Therefore, not all radios will fit all vehicles. That said, assuming that you get a professional radio installation (or simply conduct the proper research), it should be relatively easy to figure out if a certain radio will fit.
What Is a Double-DIN Car Stereo?
A double-DIN car stereo is a unit that has double the height of a standard DIN radio, coming in at 100mm by 180mm (or seven by four inches).
Be aware that the “double” only applies to the height and not the width.
What Size Is My Unit?
When shopping for car stereo installation kits and new units, it is critical to know what size your vehicle can accommodate as different vehicles typically have different mounting requirements and dimensions.
For instance, in the ’80s and ’90s, a multitude of Japanese vehicles came with an ISO (International Standards Organization) DIN mounting solution, which uses ISO brackets and DIN standard faceplates. In practice, what this essentially meant was that, while the face of the radio was the same, it required alternative solutions than many of the aftermarket single-DIN mounting options, as the trim interfered with the face.
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Is Double-DIN Superior to Single-DIN?
If you are reading this thinking that double-DIN must be better because it is bigger, this is a misconception, as which type of stereo you mount in your vehicle truly comes down to preference.
Double-DIN units are not better than single-DIN radios. While they do have more space inside of them for certain elements such as in-built amplifiers, many opt instead for dedicated amplifiers in the vehicle as these will do a far better job of achieving the desired effect.
The primary benefit of having a double-DIN car stereo is the size of the display face, as these have larger (twice as much, to be exact) faces than single-DIN units. While many of these are indeed popular in the current era for their touchscreen and video abilities, there are a panoply of fantastic single-DIN units on the market that feature flip-out screens, thus leveling the playing field.
So, when it comes to which one to choose, it all depends on what your vehicle can accommodate and what you are looking for in a car stereo.
Double-DIN Radios Explained
This piece should have provided you with a solid understanding of what the DIN standard is, what a double-DIN radio is and which one is right for you.
All that is left to do is purchase the unit and installation hardware you need and install the radio yourself or get it done by a professional.
If you are in the market for high-quality audio installation solutions, shop Scosche’s collection of car audio installation products to find the ideal choice for your vehicle.