An Introduction to Double DIN Car Stereo
What is a double din car stereo?
A DIN is a standardized measurement for car stereo head units. A double DIN is simply a standard size for a head unit that is twice the height of a single DIN. To be precise, the Double-DIN size is a 4 inches by 7 inches panel, or 180 by 100 mm. The double DIN allows car manufacturers to fit larger radios.
The centerpiece of any car audio system, a double din car stereo –also known as a radio, receiver, or head unit– performs a trifecta of complex functions:
- Source: This is the part that plays the music, and it may include a standard AM/FM tuner, CD player, MP3/WMA/AAC decoding, satellite radio, iPod/iPhone connections, USB input or DVD player.
- Preamp: The preamp section of the stereo makes sound adjustments and includes controls like volume, balance, fader, source selection, tone, equalizers and time correction.
- Amplifier: This section boosts the low-voltage audio signal coming from the preamp into a larger (high-voltage) audio signal that’s sent out to the speakers.
Double DIN is becoming the norm for people who are looking to give a big upgrade to their car stereo, and have become very common in the aftermarket car stereo market. The added size of a double DIN means that the head unit can include more features that would not fit into a smaller head unit. If you’re lucky enough to have a car that can accommodate one of these (whether you own a truck, a SUV or some other car), it’s a great option because they have big touchscreen, larger graphic equalizers and controls that are easier to read, digital media control, smartphone integration and all-round better interface.
You have options like DVD playback, navigation, Bluetooth, your entire phone book right in your dashboard, apps, Pandora control, and all the songs in your iPod right on the screen of your car stereo.
If you’re lucky enough to have a car that can accommodate one of these units, one of the good things is that it’s not going to look ugly in your dash. It’s going to fill that big spot without a problem, and you’re not going to have a little pocket or some kind of plastic filler to fill up that extra space. A double-DIN stereo certainly makes the radio appear more prominently in the dash, giving it more presence.
Now, like with every other electronics, the quality you get does depend on the brands and money you’re willing to pay. This site exists to help you make those choices.
For instance, some aftermarket double DIN radios will wow you with their large navigation screens and on-screen equalizers, but they do not always offer better sound quality. When it comes to sound quality, the brand you choose really starts to make a difference, with some managing to greatly improve the sound coming out of your factory speakers, and others failing to add any benefits. If you want perfect sound quality, we recommend you look into Pioneer receivers, JVC receivers and Clarion receivers are also very good.