There are two main sizes of car stereo head units, the first of which is single-DIN (2⅛ inches (50 mm) high and 7⅛ inches (180 mm) in width. Double DIN is the next primary size and is usually more than 4 inches tall (110mm), and the same width.
If you plan to replace your car stereo, you need to choose a head unit that will easily fit into the slot where your current car stereo is. Therefore, it’s essential to know the size of your head unit so that it’s easier to replace.
Most aftermarket head units are set sizes, so they are designed to fit into the slots of existing car stereos. See the table below for approximate dimensions for each DIN.
Car Radio Dimensions Chart
|Head Unit Type||Height||Width|
|Single DIN:||2 inches (51mm)||7 inches (178mm)|
|Double DIN:||4 inches (102mm)||7 inches (178mm)|
|1.5 DIN: |
|3 inches (76mm)||7 inches (178mm)|
Single DIN Size
A single DIN stereo head unit is found in most older vehicles and is slim in shape. Most do not come with a touch screen and are approximately 2×7 inches in size.
They usually have basic functionality such as FM radio, AUX, or USB connections. More expensive models will have Bluetooth.
- Usually low cost
- Simple Functionality (Aux, USB, Bluetooth)
- Slim profile will fit almost all cars
Double DIN Size
As the name may suggest, a double DIN head unit is double the size of the single DIN stereo, making it 4 inches wide and 7 tall in most cases. In addition, double dins are usually touch screen compatible and have many features, such as GPS, music capabilities, and wireless CarPlay.
Kind of like having an iPad as a head unit.
- Wide Screen display
- Often Deep functionality such as: Maps, phone, SMS, and music.
- Often Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are compatible
- Often touch screen
1.5 DIN Size
1.5 DIN head units are relatively uncommon but refer to a size of head unit somewhere in between single and double-DIN. They are most commonly found in factory GM vehicles.
Having a 1.5 DIN stereo does not mean you can’t install a 1 or 2 DIN head unit, but it will require a fascia kit to do so.
- Basic functionality
- Rare manufactures size custom to specific cars
- It May have old CD or cassette functions
Fact: DIN in electronic stereo terms stands for “Duetch Industri Normen”, which the Germans started using to standardize the radio’s in cars such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and VW back in the mid-’80s
Common Head Unit Sizes
Some car stereos are not standard sizes. Instead, these are custom-sized, and they do this so that it is more difficult to replace the car stereo. However, you can still replace these units with a custom kit.
Another factor to consider is the depth of the stereo. Unfortunately, the depth is different for different types of vehicles.
Some vehicles have a relatively shallow cavity, while others are deep. It will be easiest to replace your head unit if you choose one with a similar depth, but some kits can help you customize your installation if you need to.
Should you want a professional to install it, you can see your post on the average cost for head unit installation.
Most Popular Standard Size
It’s difficult to say the most common and popular type of stereo because it depends on many factors.
Stereos that come from manufacturers sometimes do not follow a standard DIN size, so we will not consider them.
Instead, we’ll be talking about aftermarket stereos: single-DIN and double-DIN.
To get an idea of how popular both are, we’ll compare how many different types of each DIN are stock and best sellers at some major retailers.
Single DIN: 21 Products
Double DIN: 14 Products
Amazon.co.uk (UK) Car stereos Top 50 Best Sellers:
Single DIN: 17 Products
Double DIN: 12 Products
Single DIN: 55 Products
Double DIN: 73 Products
Amazon.com (USA) Car Stereos Top 50 Best Sellers :
Single DIN: 15 Products
Double DIN: 27 Products
At the time of writing (2021-03-26)
As you can see from our limited research, single-DIN radios seem to be more prevalent in the United Kingdom, and double-DIN appears to be more prevalent in the United States.
But why would someone want to pick a single-DIN over a double-DIN?
How to Choose the Right DIN
Ultimately, choosing the size of the head unit comes down to what you want to get out of it. If you just want to listen to the radio, most cars come standard with FM compatible radios through the OEM stereo.
If you only want to connect to your phone using AUX, USB, or even Bluetooth for taking calls and playing music, a single DIN radio is like to be perfect.
In fact, my first ever radio install was a single DIN with minimal functionality. Like the image below:
But, if you’re looking for everything such as navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android auto, then a double-DIN radio is most likely to have all of these features.
Watch the YouTube video below for a guide, seeing which size DIN radio will fit in your car and what you should consider in terms of size.
Head units come in standard sizes, so it is pretty easy to find out the size you need when you want to replace your head unit.
To sum up, the most common head unit size is the single DIN, which is 2⅛ inches (51 mm) in height and 7⅛ inches (178 mm) in width.
You will find that most replacement head units are this size.
The second most common size is called a Double DIN.
The Double Din size is larger in that they are twice as tall, but they have the same width. Other than that you have the less common 1.5 DIN which is somewhere in between the two.