What is a double DIN radio, and what does double DIN mean?
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?
The double DIN car stereo is much more popular today than it used to be. For some time, single DIN solutions were the only options on the market for vehicle manufacturers. After all – we didn’t need as much technology in our cars several years ago as we do today.
Unfortunately, double DIN radios are usually more expensive than their single DIN counterparts. If you’re planning on replacing the stereo system you already have in your car, it might be a good idea to start by learning more about the double DIN radio, and what it can do.
Let’s take a closer look at the double DIN car stereo.
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 car stereo is a common kind of entertainment system designed for the modern car. The first thing you should know is double DIN stereos are bigger than single DIN radio systems 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 radio and the single DIN alternative is size. The single DIN radio only measures around 2 by 7 inches, which means it takes up a smaller amount of space in your dashboard. Unfortunately, it also offers fewer features due to lack of real-estate.
Double DIN radios still only have a 7-inch width, but they’re double the size vertically (4 x 7 inches). This makes it easier to add all kinds of new features to the double DIN radio.
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, 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 a lot of 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 back-up cameras and displays. Some of the most popular devices even come with the option to play CDs and DVDs.
How do I know my radio size?
Answering the question “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 that’s sized properly for your vehicle.
As mentioned above, the standard double DIN radio system will be around 4 by 7 inches. Although different vehicles can have different panel dimensions, mounting provisions and other factors.
It’s best to collect as much information as you can about your car from the manufacturer or the company you purchased the vehicle 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 and you feel uncertain, 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 too.
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.
Is a double DIN radio better than single DIN?
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to 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.
Double DIN stereo systems have more space available, which means they can more easily deliver the features you’re looking for 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 which 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 kind of 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.
If you need help finding the perfect radio system, you can use our guides on Radio Fidelity!