What does double DIN mean? You’ve probably heard of a double DIN car radio before today. Maybe you know that the double DIN car stereo is the larger of the most common entertainment system options for your vehicle’s dash. But what is a double DIN radio, and how does it work?
A double DIN radio is a car stereo that’s twice the height of a single DIN unit, measuring approximately 4 inches (100mm) in height and seven inches (180mm) in width. Double DIN head units provide more space for a larger touchscreen display and additional features like touchscreen controls, navigation systems, and advanced multimedia options.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about double-DIN car stereos. From how they work and how they compare to their single DIN counterparts, get all your questions answered.
What is double DIN, and what does double DIN mean?
So, what is a double DIN radio, and what does double DIN actually mean?
A double DIN stereo is a common type of entertainment system designed for the modern car. The first thing you should know is double DIN stereos are bigger than single DIN car stereo found in older vehicles. In fact, they take up double the space vertically.
The term “DIN” is one most people wouldn’t be able to define easily. The phrase isn’t English or American – but German.
DIN is an acronym meaning Deutsches Institut für Normung, and it defines a specific set of vehicular design standards used around the world.
The Deutsches Institut für Normung standards are embraced by all car manufacturing companies. This makes it much easier for third-party manufacturers to create additional radio systems or stereos for your vehicle if you feel like changing things up.
The primary difference between the double DIN car audio and the single DIN car stereo is the size. The single DIN radio only measures around two by seven inches, which means it takes up a smaller amount of space in your dashboard.
Unfortunately, it also offers fewer features due to a lack of real estate.
Double DIN radios still only have a 7-inch width, but they’re double the size vertically (four by seven inches). This makes it easier to add all kinds of new features to the double DIN radio.
What is a double DIN car radio for?
The DIN standardization system appeared in 1984 when companies started looking for ways to create a more consistent vehicle construction strategy.
Originally, the standard radio sizing was just the single DIN radio, measuring around 50mm tall and 180mm wide.
Notably, while the single DIN radio worked well for most cars, all solutions aren’t necessarily perfect for all cars. This is because the standardized sizes don’t include a maximum or minimum depth.
Ultimately, the creation of the standards was to create a chassis size for car radios that would apply to all vehicles and make it easier for companies to create after-market alternatives for the stereo system.
So, what is a double DIN car stereo for?
Though the original standard worked for most vehicles for quite a while, it’s become a little outdated in a world filled with more advanced vehicles.
The single DIN radio doesn’t offer much space for things like touchscreen displays where you can tap through apps or connect your phone.
Double DIN radios, on the other hand, are far more advanced, allowing more space for backup cameras and displays. Some of the most popular devices even have the option to play CDs and DVDs.
How do I know my radio size?
Answering “What is double DIN?” is just the first step in updating your stereo system. If you want to get the most out of your car, you’ll need to ensure you’re choosing a device sized properly for your vehicle.
As mentioned above, the standard double DIN radio system will be around four by seven inches (100 by 180 mm). However, vehicles can have varying panel dimensions, mounting provisions, and other factors.
It’s best to collect as much information as possible about your car from the manufacturer or the company you purchased it from. This should give you a decent idea of your stereo mounting size.
Crucially, if you can’t find any documentation for your vehicle, there’s always the option to remove the current stereo system from your dashboard and measure this.
That’s often the best way to get not just a vertical and horizontal measurement but also the depth measurement you need for accurate mounting.
If you’re not sure how to remove the stereo from your car, we’d definitely recommend either taking the car back to the dealer you purchased it from and asking for their help or visiting a garage.
Most professionals will be able to tell you the size of your DIN without charging you too much. If you’re nervous about installing a new stereo, they can also help with replacing the radio.
Videos like this can walk you through the process of removing your old DIN radio and implementing a new one. The good news is it’s usually pretty easy to replace this part of your vehicle, even if you don’t have a lot of background knowledge or skills.
How Big Is a DIN Radio?
The original DIN radio measured 2×7″ before the introduction of its double DIN counterpart, measuring 4×7″. Therefore, it narrows down to the size of your car’s dashboard and how many features you want to be included alongside your stereo.
DIN measurements use metric dimensions as it’s an international standard.
It’s worth noting that not every radio will fit in every car due to the lack of maximum or minimum depth. However, an experienced installer will get the best-fit radio for your vehicle.
What Is the Advantage of a Double DIN Car Stereo?
The main advantage of a double DIN car stereo is its larger size that accommodates many features. This gives you more control over the stereo, making it more user-friendly.
Other advantages of double DIN car stereos include:
- Larger displays: Double DIN stereos have larger touchscreen displays. These displays are easier to read and interact with while driving. This larger screen is especially advantageous for features like GPS navigation, multimedia playback, and rearview camera displays.
- Enhanced user interface: The larger screen size allows for a more user-friendly and intuitive interface. You can have larger icons, more information displayed at once, and generally, a more comfortable user experience.
- Advanced features: Double DIN stereos have more advanced features such as built-in GPS navigation, smartphone integration (e.g., Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), advanced audio tuning options, and more powerful amplifiers. These features can enhance your driving experience and entertainment options.
- Room for additional components: The larger size of a double DIN unit can accommodate additional components, such as DVD/CD players, multiple USB ports, SD card slots, and other media inputs.
Is a double DIN radio better than single DIN?
There’s no one-size-fits-all when choosing the best radio system for your car. The right solution for you will be something capable of fitting into your vehicle’s dashboard correctly while offering you the features you need.
Therefore, it narrows down to personal preference to make the best choice.
Double DIN stereo systems have more space, so they can more easily deliver the features you want in a modern car. Access to things like touchscreen support and even backup camera displays are common.
You’ll also find many of these solutions come with extra features like Bluetooth connectivity and CD players.
However, this isn’t to say you can’t get similar features from a single DIN radio, too.
Single DIN devices can now offer slide-out screens and other features that ensure you get many of the same features you would get from a double DIN in a smaller space.
The key to making sure you get the best double DIN radio is doing your research. Start by making sure you know the sizing so you can fit your new device in the correct chassis. Next, ensure you have a system in place for installing your radio correctly.
Now, you can think about the extra features you need outside of AM/FM radio.
Look for options like digital radio connections, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, CD players, and even USB charging ports for your phone.
Where to Buy Double DIN Radios for Your Car
Now that you know what a double DIN radio is and what it can do in your car, the next question is, “Where can you buy these radios?”
Fortunately, you can buy double DIN radios from various places, both online and in physical stores. Here are some popular options:
- Online retailers: Amazon, eBay, Crutchfield, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s are among the best online retailers to shop for a double DIN radio. Remember to read product reviews from these retailers before purchasing one.
- Electronics stores: Electronics stores like Best Buy have some of the best double DIN radios. Of course, you can check some other electronics stores closer to you.
- Manufacturer websites: Many car audio manufacturers have websites where you can purchase double DIN radios directly from.
Which Are the Top 3 Best Double DIN Radios?
If you want to upgrade your car stereo to a double DIN after reading our article, it might be hard to get the best new radio that meets your needs. However, having done multiple car radio reviews here at Radio Fidelity, we know what defines an excellent option.
Based on our review, here are the top three double DIN radios to buy:
You want to focus on the road as much as possible while driving. Tuning into your car stereo, changing music, or selecting a given radio station are among the things that can distract you. This explains why you need a voice-controlled car stereo system for your safety.
The Hieha Car Stereo has the latest voice control technology. All you have to do is connect it to your smartphone and get started.
The Hieha makes an excellent contender for the best double DIN car stereo because it’s compatible with Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto.
Since this car stereo comes with Siri and Google Assistant, it is easier to access phone contacts, map navigation, music, email, and notifications.
To make it even better, the device comes with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 technology with guaranteed fast pairing and efficient streaming.
For less than $120, enjoy the following features:
- Aux input
- 7-color LED buttons
- MP5 player
- HD night vision backup camera
- Mirror link
- Google Assistant
- USB port
It’s worth mentioning that the Hieha Car Stereo is a standard double DIN option that’s compatible with most car brands. Therefore, it will most likely fit into your car’s dashboard. Just make sure your car has enough space for a double DIN stereo.
- Efficient Bluetooth connectivity
- Easy navigation due to the HD backup camera for reversing
- Ideal for syncing phone’s content to a larger screen
- Compatible with most car brands
- Latest voice control features
- Might be quite expensive for some
- The learning curve is a bit steep for first-time users
- ✔❶【Carplay and Android Auto with Voice Control】: This double din car stereo is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, It has the latest voice control technology, just connect with your smartphone that makes it possible for you to access map navigation, phone contacts, email, notification, music and more with the help of Siri/Google Assistant while you stay focused on the road.
- ✔❷【Bluetooth 5.2 and Full HD Touch Screen】: Our double din stereo is equipped with a 7-inch high definition capacitive touch screen, touch it will be more sensitive and accurate, support 1080P video playback, Answer or make calls with just one push of a button, Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, you can also enjoy clear and stable music in a noisy environment, the car stereo will give you a fantastic experience.
- ✔❸【Phone Mirror Link Function】: This touch screen car radio support the mirror link function of most the phone (support Android 10.1 and below, IOS 13.4 and below, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 8 series, and below), easily connect and sync your phone any content to the large screen. (upgrade software development has been completed and supports almost all IOS/Android smartphones, if the feature does not supports your phone, we will send you the latest software to update the machine.)
- ✔❹【HD Night Vision Backup Camera】: The Bluetooth car stereo is equipped with HD and 170° viewing angle waterproof backup cam with 12 LED lights, night vision effect is better. The rear camera input automatically displays the image on the unit's screen when reversing your car. easy operation and help drive safe and easier parking. the camera wires are connected to the reversing lights and are very easy to install.
- ✔❺【Please Check Out Your Car】: This car stereo is a standard double din size which is compatible with most brands of car models, The machine installation size is 7.01*3.94 inch, and comes with an extra frame(7.32*4.57 inch) to adjust. Please confirm that your car dashboard opening size, factory wiring harness, and radio antenna adapter are suitable before purchase. If not, you may need to purchase extra aftermarket accessories.
Imagine you’re out of gas or hungry in a new area. You’ll struggle to find the nearest filling station or restaurant before proceeding with the journey. In such a case, you only have two options—consult strangers or use a car’s navigation system.
The Boss Audio Systems BVCP9700A-C is the best double DIN radio for those who travel to new places constantly. Besides Google Maps, this radio is compatible with third-party apps like Baidu and Waze. Therefore, no matter where you are, you can be sure of a stable connection for navigation.
Not only that, this double DIN car stereo comes with Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to make hands-free calls while driving. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about endangering your life on the road by receiving calls.
Also, its built-in Siri and Google Assistant feature makes it possible to use voice to access your favorite FM radio stations. All you have to do is say, “OK, Google” to get the assistance you need throughout the journey.
For $189, enjoy the following features:
- 7-inch double DIN stereo
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Double DIN head unit
- Backup camera
- USB charging port
- Voice control
We loved the fact that this double DIN car stereo is designed to be highly customizable. You can rearrange the apps to your liking. It supports apps like WhatsApp, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Radio Disney, Google Play Music, Podcasts, and CBS Radio.
- Excellent Bluetooth connectivity
- Effective USB charging
- Easy navigation due to the rear and front cameras
- Hands-free calls for safety
- Capacitive touchscreen
- No CD DVD
- It’s expensive
- Apple CarPlay - Access icons on your iPhone by activating Siri voice controls the touchscreen. Available features include Phone, Music, Maps, Text messages, Radio, Podcasts, Audiobooks
- Messages - With Siri on your side, you can ask her to read you your messages, reply as well as send them. Siri lets you concentrate on what matters most. Driving
- Maps - Need gas? Hungry? Search along your route by asking Siri, and CarPlay will direct you every step of the way and tell you the speed limit too. Third-party navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze and Baidu are also available
- Bluetooth - Make calls hands-free with the help of Siri. Play music apps like Spotify or Pandora as well as iTunes and Apple Music Subscription. Siri will be your DJ
- Android Auto - Just say “Ok Google” and Google Assistant will help throughout your day. Get real-time alerts on Google Maps and Waze. Make calls, check your messages, reply back, use music apps, all while keeping your hands on the steering wheel
The SANPTENT Double DIN Car Stereo is your go-to option if you’re a fan of AM or FM radio stations. This device comes with a radio tuner that allows you to access your favorite radio stations.
Since this car stereo is compatible with Apple’s CarPlay and Google Auto, you can easily connect it to your smartphone and access phone contacts, emails, notifications, and map navigations.
Moreover, you can also mirror link using the phone’s original USB line and synchronize to the onboard screen. This allows you to view your phone’s content on a larger screen.
For about $87, enjoy the following features:
- AM/FM radio
- HD touchscreen
- Voice control
- Steering wheel
- Backup camera
- Mirror link
- Auxiliary input port
- Bluetooth connectivity
As a standard-sized double DIN car stereo, the SANPTENT is designed to be compatible with most car models.
- Easy navigation using backup cameras
- Efficient voice control
- Compatible with speakers and smartphones
- Built-in Spotify Connect
- High-quality stereo sound
- Access to multiple AM/FM radio stations
- No CD player
- 【Compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto】Apple Carplay (with a USB cable) serves to make a connection between your smartphone and car stereo and makes it possible for you to access map navigation, phone contacts, email, notification, music, video, and more while you stay focused on the road.
- 【7-Inch Double Din Touchscreen Car Stereo】7-inch capacitive screen designed. Universal double din standard universal size 7.4 inch×4.6 inch×2.6 inch to fit most vehicles. Our apple carplay double din stereo is equipped with a 7-inch HD capacitive touch screen and it makes more sensitive and accurate.
- 【Phone Mirror Link Function】Mirror Link through phone's original USB line can synchronize to the onboard screen. Through mirror-link, the car stereo will display the content from your cellphone screen synchronously. Turn on the navigation app on your phone, you will be able to use the navigation function in your car while driving.
- 【Vehicle Fit & Multi Functions】: Standard size, universal power. Our apple carplay double din car stereo meets the needs of most vehicles. Please confirm that your dash opening size is suitable before ordering. USB/SD/Aux input, FM radio, 16 band EQ sound effect, audio/video output, backup camera video input. Working Voltage: DC 12V, Max power output: 4x60W. (NOTE: The car play can support external amplifier, but not subwoofer. And it only suitable for 12V output car to normal work.)
- 【Rear View Camera】Our apple carplay double din car audio receivers equipped with an HD camera, after connected with the rear camera, you can see the video on the radio screen through the rear view camera when reversing your car. The 7-inch touch screen will automatically display the reverse image once you pull in reverse. Make your daily reversing safer. (We support 90 days no reason to return or replacement.)
For more details, check out this review of the best double DIN radios on the market today. You can also view our article on Single DIN vs double DIN to see the difference between the two types of head units!
If you need help finding the perfect radio system, you can use our guides on Radio Fidelity!
Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.
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