by Mugs.

Car Audio Terms Defined:

Are you shopping for car audio via the internet and some of the terms are confusing to you?  Here is a short list of “buzz words” that I will try to explain….


DIN refers to size 2″ x 8″ opening that a radio fits into.  DIN stands for Duetch Industri Normen which the Germans starting using to standardize the radio’s in Audi’s, BMW’s, Mercedes, VW’s way back in the mid 80’s.  It has since become the industry standard.

DOUBLE DIN is the same width of 8″ but is 4″ instead of 2″.

LOC or Line Output Converter:  This is a handy little gizmo that will allow you to tap into your speaker wires to grab a signal and then will choke it down to be able to be used as RCA inputs for an amp.

Some are better than others. Lets say you want to install an amp into your stock system using the.  Well, the stock deck does not have RCA outputs like aftermarket radios do so in order to get the music into the amplifier the signal has to be converted/choked down to an acceptable preamp level.  That’s why aftermarket decks sound so much better when using an amplifier.

Still confused about other terms. Hey, let us know. Reply to this blog entry below and ask away. We’re here to clarify and assist you in your car audio electronics needs.

Sounds Good To Me car audio & video electronics and security alarm system installation specialists are located in Tempe, AZ, servicing the entire metro Phoenix area including Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale and Gilbert, Arizona.

Sounds Good To Me car audio & video electronics and security alarm system installation specialists are located in Tempe, AZ, servicing the entire metro Phoenix area including Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale and Gilbert, Arizona. Call us at (480) 968-8543 or visit us at Contact Muggs by email at

83 thoughts on “Car Audio Terms Defined: What does DIN, Double DIN and LOC mean?

  1. I want buy car stereo system for my FIAT UNO Diesel 1997 model. I am not sure which size would that match.Please suggest the best economic one .

  2. I would probably look at the Alpine’s starting with a CDE-143BT.We have one on display if you’d like to come view it.

  3. Hello SG2M
    I am wanting a new system for my 72 Corvette. I want it as unassuming as possible, look as stock as possible and sound like a concert hall. The interior of the car is completely lined with Hushmat Ultra sound deadening material.
    What do you suggest?
    Thanks — Rey
    P.S. I plan down the road to add Sirius XM service.

  4. I have a pioneer radio but when I try to change the station it just scrolls through my preset stations…

  5. This measurement of 2″ x 8″ is WRONG. The official size is 50mm x 180mm which translates to 1.968 x 7.086 ! You’re going to be very disappointed if a radio you buy is 8″.

  6. What happened to cg sized headunits? Y’all remember those right? If not they’re the r factory radio that was in between single and double din. Usually found in Chrysler/Dodge/Pontiac vehicles. Now I know I remember JVC and a few other companies making aftermarket headunits in this size back in the 90’s so what gives?

  7. Thanks for the question Heather about your 05 Dodge Ram. We have Alpine, Kenwood units on sale now that would be considered “basic” but do you have the factory radio still or do you have an aftermarket? If you have the factory radio to install an aftermarket radio would require a mounting kit and wiring harness specific to the Dodge. There are a number of variations in the Dodge that require different interfaces so the best thing would be to stop by or give us a call to be certain about what you might need for the job.

    Mark Kelber
    Sounds Good To Me

  8. We called the “CG” sized head units DIN & Half and they haven’t been made in years. All the big guys Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, JVC made them for awhile but no longer.

  9. In your setup menu there is I believe a “seek” option that allows you to choose whether you want the radio to seek to the next strongest station or the next pre-set you have in memory. So, go into the setup menu and choose I believe option 1 on the seek menu. Your most likely in option 2.

    Mark Kelber
    Sounds Good To Me

  10. Heather, yes we have a number of basic AM/FM/CD players that would work nicely in your 05 Ram. Depending on the Ram’s trim level, you could expect to pay $200.00 for the head unit, parts, and labor. Please stop by and check out our selection and what features the different head units offer.

    Sounds Good To Me

  11. Hello Rey,
    For some unknown reason my earlier response to your questions about working on your 72 Corvette disappeared. Please give us a call and lets talk about your Corvette, if you are still in the market for a system?

    Sounds Good To Me

  12. Great site. I have a 2007 ford freestar van. Will a double Din fit in place of the factory CD player unit.

  13. I have to replace the speakers and head unit on my 2001 Eurovan. I think I have seen double din units in this van so is that possible with retaining somewhat of a stock look. Also, they say the speakers are metric so there a very few bolt in replacments. I heard pioneer might have some. Since it is a pop top, it would be great to run the radio off the auxilary battery but have it turn off with the ignition. Is that possible? Someone said it was.

  14. Yes, you can install a double din and make it look “factory” and give you a bunch of new features like bluetooth, USB connectivity, etc. If I understand you correctly the speaker sizes are given in both metric and imperial so for instance a 6.5″ imperial is listed as 165mm so they are pretty much standard sizes. I would recommend you stop by the shop and let us get a look at the van and we can suggest different configurations.

  15. The Nissan “Sunny Car” is distributed in Europe and India and so to answer your question I might. It looks like it’s an Altima but not sure and have little information available at present. Best thing I could suggest is come in and let us see the vehicle and we can go from there. Thanks for asking though.

  16. Thanks for the kind words Brad. With the correct install kit (Metra 95-5812) and harness (Metra 70-5520) you can have a double din in your Van. We are always running great deals on radios so come on in and let us set you up.

  17. Yes Robert you are correct but it’s like when we say 2″x4″ not 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. Personally I much prefer the metric size of 50mm x 180mm. It’s crazy this Country hasn’t gone to metric like the rest of the industrialized Nations.

  18. Hi great site and very informative. I’m in Australia and have a right hand drive (not sure if this makes a difference) 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited which still has the factory head unit installed. I’d like to change this to a New aftermarket head unit with GPS. Can you suggest one that would suit? Thanks Chris.

  19. I’m trying to install a double din into my 2002 Nissan Frontier pickup. It already came with the same size stereo and it’s an exact fit. The plugs, however don’t match up. I have to cut them off and splice the wires. The wires on the new stereo or color coded but the wires from the truck have different colors. Do you know of any website that can tell me which colors to match with which?

  20. Hi, I have a 1999 Toyota Corolla that only has AM FM cassette……Will an AM/FM, cassette, and CD fit in it? if yes what do I need to look for? if no how abt an am/fm cd/dvd or just an am/fm cd? thank you in advance!

  21. BTW, you might want to update your web-page to be fully correct:

    DIN = Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V.

  22. You can install a new am/fm/cd player with the correct mounting kit and wiring harness. You can also install what’s referred to as a double din that would have am/fm/cd/dvd that has USB and allows a backup camera. There are lots of choices for your Corolla. Stop by and let us show you just what options you have.

  23. Yes it will, but to install a double DIN in your Freestar one has to nibble about 1/8″ around the perimeter so re-installing the factory is possible but looks janky as hell.

  24. I believe it’s a phone mute wire for specific phones that hardly anyone uses.

  25. I have Whar appeared to be a 11/2 din radio. it’s in a 94 dodge 1500 ram. who makes that size?

  26. I am not sure if anyone makes a 1 1/2 anymore. Maybe Pioneer does but I’m not sure. The company we use for kits and harness’s has a kit that allows you to install a double din head unit. It requires some modification to your existing radio bezel.

  27. Steven please step away from the truck, please,. And for the love of all things good do NOT cut the factory wiring harness that plugged into the factory radio. Do NOT CUT THAT DAMN PLUG. What you can do is scurry down here to the shop and grab a Metra 70-7550 which is another plug that plugs into the factory plug and has all the correct wires color coded for your aftermarket radio. Do not cut the wires. Just don’t.

  28. To add any aftermarket radio to your 2012 Grand Cherokee you will need a mounting kit (Metra 99-6513B) a specialized wiring harness (XSVI-6522) and an antenna adapter 40-EU10. Now bear in mind these parts are for the North American Grand Cherokee with the Infinity factory system. I can’t tell you if the same holds true for your vehicle. I would recommend you call a shop called “Highway Car Audio” I’m not too sure they are close to you as everything in Australia is pretty far apart. A hundred miles to you folks is like 15 miles to us it seems. As for brands, I would say the big 3 Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer would be my go to brands.

  29. I bought a 03’GMC yukon slt w/bose an onstar. I was considering purchasing a Kenwood touchscreen. Im not sure which deck to purchase that would give me maximum features and sound quality. An would fit properly. I think BOSE sound quality sucks personally.

  30. Hi Nicholas. With the correct mounting kit and Bose integration interface you can certainly install a Kenwood that would make you happy. Kenwood makes a number of different head units and each having their own set of features. But all the models have Kenwood DNA which is reliable, long lasting, and sounds damn good in the vehicle. What features are most important to you will determine exactly what model you settle on. Another thing, does your Yukon have steering wheel controls for the radio? If you do and want to retain them you would require another interface but it’s not required.

  31. Very nice website Can you guide me to a radio for
    2005 Jeep grand Cherokee >that features navigation
    blue tooth touch screen etc thanks

  32. i still didnt get the differents btw single and double din and wat are aftermarket decks
    And i need to kno wat is the diff btw single channer and dual channel amflifier

  33. I looked all over the net for the definition of “DIN” (except here) to no avail. Then a good friend pointed me in your direction and there it was!
    A hearty thanks to you, my friend and this site!

  34. Hi Dood day to you!

    I am planning to buy pioneer DVD entertainment system. I am not sure which that suits my Honda Pilot 2010 model. Could you suggest

    Thanks in Advance

  35. Any of the Pioneer’s line of NEX receivers will do fine in your Pilot, so long as you have the correct mounting kit, wiring harness. Now if you want to add or retain steering wheel audio controls, satellite radio, backup camera there would be additional interfaces required for those. Please stop by or give us a call and we can certainly give you all the pertinent information.

  36. In Germany they have a National Standardization Organization that sets industry standards for sizes and from that comes what we refer to as a DIN opening. A DIN opening is defined as 180mm x 50mm opening or for non-metric users is 7 1/8″ x 2″. DIN = Deutsches Intitut Normung. There are boatloads of DIN measurements that cover all kinds of stuff. You gotta figure them German’s love themselves standardization and their math’s too.

  37. The difference between a single din is 7 1/8″ x 2″ while a double din is 7 1/8″ x 4″ the width are the same it’s just the sides are longer between the two. What are aftermarket decks you ask? That is any other deck or head unit you install in a vehicle that wasn’t from the factory or OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture). And what is the difference between a one channel and two channel amplifiers? A one channel amp has one output channel for usually woofers. Because it is a one channel does not mean you can only wire one sub to it either, with the correct woofer impedance a mono amp can drive 1-6 or more woofers. A two channel amplifier has two channels, a right and left for stereo separation. You can usually make a two channel amplifier into a one channel by “bridging” the two channels together.

  38. There are a number of head units that we could recommend but we need some more information about your Grand Cherokee like does it have the Infinity Premium Audio System, does it have steering wheel controls for the radio on the steering wheel etc. If possible stop by the shop and let us look at your vehicle and let you see the choices available to you.

  39. I’m thinking about buying a radio for my 2000 chevrolet express 1500 van, this has the radio on the top and the cd player on the bottom, the radius that I’m going to buy is 7 inches long by 5 wide and not I have no idea if it is simple dim or double dim, can someone help me please

  40. Hello Frank,
    A couple of questions for you? Is the radio where the turner is on top and completely separated from the CD player, or are the two connected one on top of the other? Some models have the radio receiver while the actual CD player is a “slave” and is located lower on the dash and is separated by a few inches. On these models you can simply unplug the CD player from the radio and install a new radio where the old turner is. Now, there also are models that have both the tuner and CD player connected together and when you replace the radio both pieces come out. Either way you will require a new installation kit and a harness and antenna adapter. From my matrix there doesn’t seem to be a double DIN kit available because it’s most likely a DIN and a half. I would suggest to narrow your search for DIN sized units.

  41. I have a 2014 Toyota Camry and the basic stereo touch screen calibration has gone out of alignment. The sensitivity to touch has dropped down so ‘buttons’ at the bottom of the screen can not be accessed. Evidently this is a known problem with the basic 2014 system and expensive to replace with stock parts. I’d like to upgrade to a GPS system and still access the car’s phone, CD and backup camera. Does the GPS need extra antennas? Which would you recommend?

  42. Hi Dr. D we can certainly accommodate you with a new head unit that will check off all the boxes with regards to the various features you are looking for. We are authorized dealers for Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer and all of these companies make a head unit that can do what you want. I might also recommend, depending on what cell phone you use to consider Apple CarPlay or AndroidAuto making the interface between phone and vehicle seamless and very convenient.
    Please give us a call or better yet stop by the store and let me show you the various options open to you and you can decide which is the best head unit for your needs.

    Thank you for inquiring.

    Mark Kelber
    Sounds Good To Me

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  45. I bought a new 2019 Nissan King Cab SV. I had it delivered from another dealership and didn’t really pay attention to the fact that this vehicle has no technology, except for a very low end backup camera. I am sort of spoiled, my last truck had Alexa compatibility. This system I have now will pair with the phone, but won’t do much else. I am looking for an upgraded system that will give me navigation, alexa compatibility, etc.. I looked at the Android auto and I can download the phone app, but I would prefer something that will install in the dash, allow me to keep my Nissan Connection and do all the stuff I want. Any suggestions?

  46. I bought a new 2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab SV. I had it delivered from another dealership and didn’t really pay attention to the fact that this vehicle has no technology, except for a very low end backup camera. I am sort of spoiled, my last truck had Alexa compatibility. This system I have now will pair with the phone, but won’t do much else. I am looking for an upgraded system that will give me navigation, alexa compatibility, etc.. I looked at the Android auto and I can download the phone app, but I would prefer something that will install in the dash, allow me to keep my Nissan Connection and do all the stuff I want. Any suggestions?

  47. Hello Bill Taylor,
    Thanks for your inquiry about possibly adding a new head unit in your 2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab SV. As it stands right now I don’t see any installation kit specifically made for your Frontier. There is one for the 2018 but not the 21019. I’m not saying that there isn’t one but I would recommend if you were in the area to stop by the shop and let us get a look at your dash. We could than determine if the 2018 would work on your 2019. We have lots of choices for you to get all the features you are wanting.

    Mark Kelber
    Sounds Good To Me

  48. Hello Bill,
    As of right now I am unable to find a compatible installation kit or wiring harness that would work in your 2019 Nissan. I will keep looking and see what I can find.

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  54. Carl, you can install either a single DIN or Double DIN with the correct kit and harness and if you have steering wheel control for the radio you would need another interface as well.

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