Over the last decade, the single DIN radio has faded as more vehicles feature or switch to info-centers. These are the touch screen devices that are replacing radios. Although they play music, these are much more than just a radio. An info-center can aid in navigation, display pertinent information about your vehicle’s performance, manage hands-free calls, and more. For years the car stereo industry has been subject to two standards as it pertains to car radios. There are the single DIN and the Double DIN. GM did make a DIN and a half for a while, but that is long gone. DIN is an acronym for a German term: Deutsches Institut für Normung, and that is something popularized by Blaukpunk back in the 80s.
A single DIN radio refers to the height and with of the head unit. A single DIN radio measures 2×7″, while a double DIN measures 4×7″. It is possible to install a single DIN into a vehicle with a double DIN open by employing an adapter like the ones made by Metra Electronics. Still, more often than not, as in the case of many Japanese cars like Toyotas, the aftermarket head unit is mounted on the side rails holding the OEM head radio in place.
Although many vehicles and even boats nowadays no longer utilize the single DIN radio size, there are still many applications, and to this day, still one of the most popular sizes for many reasons. For one, single DIN head units are more affordable than double DIN. They are easier to integrate into older cars, trucks, RVs, and even boats. Nowadays, the highest demand for single DIN head units comes from the power sports segment, but they are equally popular with RVs and Camper owners. Because of this, high-quality single DIN radios, with options like Bluetooth, USB, auxiliary input, MP3, CD, and even DVD players, are available from top manufacturers like Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine, Clarion, and Sony, as well as budget-minded manufactures like Jensen, BOSS Audio, and ATOTO. However, before pulling the trigger, do your homework and consider options like XM radio and Apple Play. You also need to consider the scope of the system. Are you using external amplifiers? Do you need subwoofer controls? Small things like DSP and crossover may sound too much to ask, but these are available for little and in some cases, no extra cost. It all boils down to choosing a suitable single DIN heat unit.