With the best double din head unit, you have a more desirable setup than with the smaller single din. Not only do you get a larger display, but they normally come with many more features as well. In addition, a double din stereo adds value and a more modern look to your vehicle.
We’ve reviewed numerous double din head units to find the best of the best. We prefer models that come with the latest gadgets, Bluetooth, and ample features, but we’ve listed a few that will fit any budget as well.
What is a Double Din Head Unit?
Din actually just refers to size. Your single din head unit is a traditional car radio size which makes the double din twice as big. It doesn’t matter what brands you purchase; the double din stereo should all be the same dimensions – 178mm x 100mm. If you already have a double din radio installed, you won’t have any trouble swapping out your systems.
There are different types available, even though they tend to follow the same design. They often have large screens and feature technology that allows you to sync your smartphone. You’ll find a wide range of them in a variety of price points, so it’s easy to get what you need.
Without further ado, here are our top ten best car double din head unit choices.
Double Din Head Unit Buying Guide
If you want to purchase the best double din head unit, you must know what you’re looking for in the first place. We’ve narrowed down the characteristics you should evaluate while making your purchase. These help you to know that you’re on the right track.
This might be the most vital aspect of your head unit overall. While many people look at peak wattage, it’s just not as essential as your RMS watts. That’s because this aspect has a lot to do with the sound quality no matter what audio you play.
General power going to your speakers is through RMS wattage. This wattage helps determine the power during more extended time periods and over a larger volume range. You’ll notice the larger RMS wattage occurring more than you will larger peak wattage.
If you have an extensive setup, this will be crucial for you. Even if your head unit doesn’t power your speakers, you still need the audio signal to travel to the amp that will power your speakers. The ability of your amp to do this is determined by the pre-amp.
The stronger your signal is, the better quality it sends to your speakers. A lower pre-amp signal causes distortions and lowers audio quality.
In this day and age, having smartphone connectivity is essential. From Android Auto to Apple CarPlay, you can easily mirror your screen, navigate your phone, and more. Most people want this feature for audio streaming and hands free calling. Even if you don’t think you’ll use this today, it’s wise to invest in your future needs instead of upgrading later.
Your OEM stereo probably doesn’t have too many output channels. That makes any upgrades more difficult. If you want subwoofers or multiple channels to add speakers, you want to pay attention to this before making a purchase.
Reversing Camera Input
When you have a large screen on your double din head unit, viewing footage from a DVD to a camera is desirable. Not all stereos have this functionality, but some automatically switch over when the car begins backing up.
Most people prefer to go with an Android operating system in their double din head unit. That’s because it contains a superior UI, which is familiar to many people. It also allows tech-savvy people to make modifications and download a variety of applications.
If you plan to install the double din stereo yourself, you’ll want to make sure you purchase a system that’s simple to set up. There’s no sense in destroying the fascia over a car stereo. Read through the reviews and see what other customers felt about the installation of the best din head units.
You can expect an average price to be right around $250 for a double din head unit. With that said, there are also good packages available when you’re on a budget and other high-end models for those with more to spend. If you want to add speakers and subwoofers, you might need a top tier option instead. These can start to run into thousands of dollars.
Benefits to Upgrading Your Head Unit
You might be looking at the prices of new double din head units and start to wonder what the point is. There are numerous advantages you should consider.
Streaming Media – When was the last time you listened to the radio? Chances are, it’s been awhile. Of course, that was popular before media streaming came to be, but now we have access to all our music whenever we want it. Take it all along with you and listen to it with a new double din head unit for hours of entertainment.
Maximum Safety – With the multi-functional double din stereo, you become less distracted while on the road. The voice activation and hands-free models keep you looking ahead while driving instead of fumbling with technology.
Exceptional Sound – The best double din head unit will take your audio to the next level. All the outputs, hardware, and modern software offer an experience unlike any you’ve ever had before.
It’s Fun – Of course, having a double din head unit is fun and makes you look more prestigious as well. Don’t forget the cool factor.
Install Double Din Car Stereo
What’s great about a double din head unit is that most of them are simple to install. This is even truer if you already have the same size in place. They are universal, so you’ll basically just swap them out. This also doesn’t require too many tools.
Each double din head unit comes with its own set of instructions and ways to remove it, so be sure you read them carefully. For the most part, it should take you anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes. You’ll also need a few tools, such as:
- the manual
- Philips screwdriver
- plastic prying tools
- flathead screwdriver
- nut drivers
- cable ties
- electric tape
- electric wire hand tools
Start by disconnecting the car’s battery. This is for your safety. Then, remove all the bolts, trim, and face plate to access the current unit.
Once you have everything ready to go in, plug in the wiring harness, GPS navigation antenna, and antenna wire. Match up all the colored wires and utilize your cable ties so the appearance is neat. Then, you can install the double din head unit into your dash sleeve and attach the faceplate. Test your unit to ensure that the installation was performed correctly.