What is a Double DIN Car Stereo - featured image

The car stereo is integral to any vehicle, allowing drivers and passengers to enjoy their favorite music while on the road. 

But what exactly is a double DIN car stereo? 

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of a double DIN car stereo and how it differs from other types of audio systems. 

We’ll also discuss some of the benefits this type of system can offer. Read on to learn more!

What Is A Double DIN Car Stereo?

A Double DIN Car Stereo is a head unit that is twice as tall as a single DIN unit. The typical size of a double DIN car stereo is 4 inches (102mm) by 7 inches (178mm). Usually, this will incorporate a large touchscreen display.

 This extra size means that it takes up more space in the dash, but it also offers more features and options than a conventional single din car audio system. Double din units typically include:

  • Larger LCD or TFT displays.
  • Allowing you to access various music sources such as Bluetooth.
  • USB ports.
  • Auxiliary inputs.
  • CD/DVD players.
  • Even satellite radio.
  • Wireless CarPlay or Android Auto


In addition to being bigger and more feature-rich, double din car stereos offer greater ease of use compared to single din units. 

This is due to their larger display screens and dedicated buttons for accessing different audio sources.

Benefits Of A Double DIN Car Stereo

According to CarAudioWise.com, the primary benefit of a double din car stereo is its larger display and a greater number of features, which makes it easier to access your favorite music or other audio sources while driving. 

For instance, Apple CarPlay stereos are typically double DIN so that you can view CarPlay navigation apps in full view, sort of like a mini iPad in your car.

Other benefits include improved sound quality compared to single din units, enhanced flexibility in terms of audio sources, and the ability to add advanced features such as navigation systems.

They may cost more than single din units, but the extra features and improved sound quality can make them well worth the investment.

If you’re still adamant you want a single din, see my article on the best single-din car stereos for more information.

Disadvantages of a double DIN car stereo

Although, aftermarket car stereos offer a range of benefits, there are some potential drawbacks. 

Installing a head unit may require additional wiring and cutting into your vehicle’s dashboard. 

This means it can be challenging to install and remove, with increased labor costs to do so.

Special Tip: If you buy a car stereo from Walmart or Best Buy, they often offer FREE installation when stereos are over $100. 

Despite these drawbacks, these head units offer a great way to improve your in-car audio experience. With their larger display screens and enhanced features, they can help you make the most out of your music while you’re on the road.

Double DIN Radio – Factors to Consider 

Check Your Vehicle’s Compatible Size

Ford Ka Dash circled

Before buying a double DIN head unit, check the size of your vehicle’s dash opening to determine if it will fit.

If you’re interested in a Pioneer car stereo, for instance, check out this stereo size calculator, which outlines which units will fit which cars.

Consider Your Preferred Features

Dual-DIN car stereos come with a range of features, such as navigation systems, Bluetooth connectivity, and even access to streaming services. 

Consider which ones are most important to you so that you can select the best unit for your needs.

An important feature I would want is Apple CarPlay, as seen in the image below.

wired carplay connection for comparison vs wireless carplay

Think About Budget

Double DIN car stereos cost more than single din units, so make sure you set a budget for your purchase.

You can expect to pay above $150. Whereas with a single DIN, you can usually pay less than $100.

Research Reviews

Before making a purchase, take some time to read customer reviews so that you can get an idea of how well each unit performs in real-world conditions. 

This will help to give you an idea of which units are the most reliable and long-lasting.

Lastly, go into big box retailers and look at the stereos. Most of the time you can also play with then, and speak to staff about their opinion.

By following these steps, you can make sure that you select the right car stereo for your vehicle. 

Considering factors like size, features, budget, and reviews, you can find a functional and affordable unit.

Installation Tips for a DIN Car Stereo


Read the Manual

Before you begin installing your head unit, be sure to read the instruction manual for tips and instructions on how to install it correctly.

This will ensure that everything is set up properly and reduce the chances of any problems occurring during installation.

I prefer video instructions, so YouTube is often a great place to check, as someone might have documented their installation.

Disconnect The Battery

Jeep Wrangler battery

To avoid any electrical issues, be sure to disconnect the battery before beginning the installation process. 

This will prevent any potential electric shock or damage to your vehicle’s electrical system.

Make Necessary Modifications

If you need to modify your vehicle’s dash to install the car stereo, make sure you do so carefully. 

This will help to ensure that everything fits in properly and provides a secure fit for your new unit. 

Test It Out

After you install the head unit, test it to ensure that everything is functioning properly.  

This will help ensure that you don’t experience any unexpected issues and get the best possible sound quality from your new unit.

If you follow these tips, you can make sure that your car stereo is installed correctly so that you can enjoy improved audio quality in your vehicle. 

With the help of our guide, you can find the perfect head unit for your needs and install it safely.


Double DIN Car Stereo – FAQs

What’s the difference between a Double DIN and Single DIN car stereo?

standard head unit sizes

A single din unit is smaller in size than a 2 din unit, which has two slots for installation. Single din units typically offer fewer features and a smaller display screen, while dual din units are larger and come with more advanced features. 

There are even 1.5 DIN car stereos, although these are far less common. Check out our full article on head unit sizes for more information on the different types.

Is 2 DIN Better Than 1 DIN?

If you’re looking for an improved in-car experience, then a 2 din stereo is certainly the better option. The larger display screens and enhanced features of these units make them more attractive than single din units. However, they are also more expensive and may require modifications to your vehicle’s dash to fit.

Can you put a double DIN in any car?

Whether you can install a double DIN stereo in a particular car depends on the make and model and how the current stereo is situated. This could include cutting out additional space or creating a custom mounting bracket.

Picture of Solomon Osuagwu
Solomon Osuagwu
Solomon has over a decade of experience with electronic car systems. But, of course, a lot has changed in that time! He previously worked in several auto repair shops, but he now writes helpful content that informs and educates users about all things car electronics.
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