Single DIN vs Double DIN: What Are the Differences?

Many car owners look forward to upgrading the stereo’s receiver. It’s an opportunity to update the car’s entertainment system and enhance the dashboard tech. However, many people cannot decide between single DIN vs double DIN or the features they should look for in the stereo unit. 

Getting educated about these types and the stereo system as a whole will help make an informed decision.

DIN refers to a series of German-originated but internationally-recognized technical standards used by car stereo manufacturers and automakers around the world. Some cars have 1DIN head units while others have 2DIN units. 

What Is A Single DIN Car Stereo?

A car stereo single DIN is a head unit that is around 7 inches wide by 2 inches height and is meant to fit into a 2 inch tall dashboard slot. Single-DIN stereos are less costly than Double-DIN systems and are more frequent in older vehicles.

You can find the best single din radios on every corner of the street and we are sure you are not disappointed by its compact size and quality.

What Is A Double DIN Radio?

After knowing about single-DIN, here is a double DIN meaning. Double-DIN refers to a head unit that is roughly 7 inches wide by 4 inches height and is meant to fit into a 4 inch tall dashboard slot. 

Double-DIN stereos are often more expensive than single-DIN models and have extra features such as bigger touchscreens, more complex audio controls, and more connecting choices.

Single DIN vs Double DIN: The Differences

Let’s go through a single DIN vs double DIN discussion to have a better understanding of the differences between them.


Double DIN units are larger and their faceplate measures 7×4 inches. On the other hand, the faceplate of single DIN head units measures 7×2 inches. 

The double DIN head unit is twice as tall as a single DIN stereo head.

single din car stereo
A single DIN player is smaller and easy to operate. Source: Team-BHP


Another aspect to consider the difference between single DIN and double DIN is their features.

The double DIN radio has more features than their 1 DIN counterparts. Most of them have a large touchscreen that makes using the stereo more convenient. 

However, the single din stereos are also functional and have practical features.

Sound Quality 

There is little to no difference in sound quality between the single DIN and double DIN head units. 

The main distinction between the two receivers is the size of the display and the features that may be added to the stereo system as a result of the size.

Sound quality is determined by the head unit’s brand and type, not its size, as well as your speakers, amplifier, and subwoofer.


Usability is one of the major differences between single DIN vs double DIN

The second type takes more space but they offer a great user experience with plenty of smart features including camera options, integration with phone apps, and more.

Even if the double DIN stereo is ahead in terms of features, 1 DIN unit fits a wide variety of dashboards. 

Besides, they provide a clean interface with an easy-to-use control panel. They have an ardent fan following because not many people want to deal with a complicated stereo system when driving.

Here is a comparison table of 2 types of head units for your references.

Single DIN stereo Double DIN stereo
Dimension Length: 7 inch (18cm)

Tallness: 2 inch (5cm)

Length: 7 inch (18cm)

Tallness: 3 inch (8cm)

Space Compact, easy fit Need more space
Control Controlling alternatives may be challenging. With a wide screen, controlling choices are simpler.
Connectivity The connectivity is basic (USB and AUX) Options for advanced connectivity (Bluetooth, USB, AUX)
Screen Limited visibility digital screen Large HD video screen for a variety of uses.
DVD Player No DVD video access Can play videos on DVD
Phone access Unavailable Available via large screen
Features Limited features More-offered features

The Traits to Look for In a Car Stereo

When you are deciding between single DIN vs double DIN, you will need to have a clear idea of the features you want in your car’s stereo system.

Audio Sources

You can choose between a traditional CD player and an A/V receiver with a color screen. Most modern users will prefer a receiver featuring a USB port and auxiliary input.

Smartphone Integration

People these days can’t function without their smartphones. So, a stereo receiver that can connect to exterior devices via Bluetooth feature will be a blessing for the smartphone addicts. 

People who love to play music streaming apps like Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and more will be delighted to know that many units have functions to control these apps.

double din vs single
Double DIN stereos have plenty of smart features. Source: Lifewire


Radio Options

All the car stereo receivers these days have built-in AM/FM radio. So, you should look for something more such as HD Radio and satellite radio. 

The first option enhances the audio quality of the local radio stations while the second feature allows people to listen to their favorite stations from anywhere.

FAQs On Single DIN Vs Double DIN

  1. Double DIN vs Single DIN, which is better?

The answer to whether Double-DIN or Single-DIN is preferable relies on your particular tastes as well as the precise characteristics you need. 

Single-DIN devices are smaller and less expensive, whereas Double-DIN units have bigger displays and more complex functions. 

To determine which choice is best for you, consider your needs and budget.

  1. How can I know if a Double-DIN is compatible with my vehicle or not?

The size of the dashboard slot in your individual make and model of car determines whether or not a Double-DIN radio will fit. 

If your vehicle has a 4 inch tall slot, a Double-DIN radio should fit without any adjustments. If your vehicle has a smaller slot, you may need to purchase an adapter kit or make dashboard adjustments to suit the bigger size of the Double-DIN unit.

double vs single din
If your vehicle has a 4 inch tall slot, a Double-DIN radio should fit without any adjustments. Source: CarAudioWise
  1. Can you fit a single-DIN in a double DIN position?

Without minor adjustments, a single DIN unit cannot fit straight into a double DIN area. Because the double DIN area is twice as large as the single DIN space, a single DIN unit would leave an empty space on the dashboard. 

However, several automotive audio manufacturers sell installation kits that allow a single DIN device to be fitted in a double DIN area. 

Because these installation kits vary in size and design, it is critical to select the correct kit for your exact make and model of automobile. 

For appropriate installation and compatibility, it is advised that you speak with a professional installer.

  1. Is it possible to install a touch-screen radio in the car?

It is feasible to install a touch screen radio in any automobile, but it is dependent on the make and model of your vehicle as well as the sort of touch screen radio you wish to install. 

Some vehicles may need extra dashboard or wiring changes to support a touch screen radio, and some touch screen radios may not be compatible with all vehicles. 

It is recommended to get the advice of a professional installer to discover whether a touch screen radio is compatible with your vehicle and what changes may be required for installation.

  1. What can I access with the double DIN stereo?

Even if your car did not come equipped with a touch screen, upgrading to a dual double DIN might allow you to use one. 

You may also use a dual double DIN to access additional programs such as an MP3 player, CDs, AM/FM radio, or even an SD card.

Check out this video from CarAudioFabrication to know more about DO’s & DON’Ts when picking a car audio radio head unit!

Final Words

In the end, single-DIN vehicle stereos are less costly and easier to install

While they often offer fewer total functionality, their simplified interface may be more user-friendly for persons with less technological knowledge. They are a good option for historic automobiles and older models. 

Double-DIN vehicle stereos are bigger and typically have additional features and technological integrations. Most touchscreen stereos are double DIN, however touchscreens are frequently more difficult to install. 

So between single DIN vs double DIN, you may now know which one to choose from to upgrade your driving experience. 

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