A DIN is a standardised measurement for car stereo head units. A double DIN is simply a standard size for a head unit with certain unique measurements. The name "DIN" was adopted after the German standards organisation Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) adopted the acronym DIN to define the standard size for car stereo head units in 1984.
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The size of most head units for car stereos out of the factory is either "DIN" or "double DIN." DIN units are equivalent to a 180 by 50 mm panel; however, there is no standard for the depth of the installation bay.
The double-DIN size is a 180 by 100 mm panel, or 4 inches by 7 inches. The double DIN was adopted by some car manufacturers to fit larger radios. Most car manufacturers traditionally prefer the DIN size. Often the double-DIN radio is chosen to make the radio appear more prominently in the dash, giving it more presence. In addition, double-DIN radios are preferred by more senior drivers as the controls are generally larger and easier to read.
Mounting a double DIN simply means installing a radio into a double-DIN slot. Most often this term is referring to a standard DIN being mounted into a double-DIN space. Mounting a double DIN is common for those looking to replace their factory (double DIN) radio with an aftermarket (DIN) stereo.
Double-DIN Mounting Kits
When installing a DIN radio into a double-DIN vehicle, a mounting kit must be purchased. A mounting kit is a plastic sleeve that holds the DIN radio in place; the plastic faceplate goes around the outside of the DIN radio filling up the extra space that was left by the double DIN's removal. Without this kit, the DIN radio would simply float in the dash and there would be space above and below it. The mounting kit helps make a clean install.
Reasons for Double DIN
Double-DIN radios are becoming more common, especially in the aftermarket car stereo market. Many double-DIN radios allow for DVD playback, GPS Navigation screens, larger graphic equalisers and TV. 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--for example, a flip-up screen.
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