A car stereo receiver or car radio serves as your source of information and entertainment while on the road. It was a straightforward AM radio up until the 1950s. Since then, additions have included FM radio, 8-track tape players, cassette players, record players, CD players, DVD players, Blu-ray players, navigation systems, Bluetooth telephone integration, and smartphone controls like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Now that they can be controlled by voice commands and steering wheel controls instead of just a few buttons on the dashboard, they are more convenient to use.

In this blog, we will discuss the car stereo receiver, its sizes, features, and how to install a new one to add new audio features to your vehicle.

Car stereo receiver fitment size

Aftermarket car stereos provide superior options and more features than factory head units. When selecting a car stereo for your vehicle, first you must figure out if the stereo’s chassis will fit in the slot where your factory car stereo unit is placed. Car stereo chassis is also called “DIN” and comes in two sizes: Single-DIN and Double-DIN. A Single-DIN car stereo measures 2″ tall and 7″ wide. On the other hand, a Double-DIN has twice the height of a Single-DIN, measuring 4″ tall and 7″ wide.

Single-DIN units are affordable and relatively easy to install. It has the basic functions that you need to operate your car stereo, such as AM/FM tuning, volume dial, CD slot, and buttons such as play, pause, stop, fast forward/backward, next and previous. Some Single-DIN units have added features like built-in Bluetooth, Pandora Internet Radio, and Siri Eyes Free for iOS support.

A Double-DIN unit has what the Single-DIN has and more. Double-DINs are usually produced as touchscreen stereos and are equipped with modern features like smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto), onscreen GPS navigation, and rearview camera availability. If your vehicle can fit a Double-DIN unit, it can fit a Single-DIN unit. The leftover space will then be filled in by a pocket.

Aftermarket stereo receiver features to look for

It’s always wonderful to have a few more features that your original radio didn’t offer when it comes to selecting a new car stereo unit for your vehicle. There are a lot of innovative methods to use a stereo receiver for navigation, music discovery, and communication.

Here are some reasons why aftermarket radios are more practical and effective for use while driving today:

Smartphone Integration 

Some receivers offer USB ports so you may connect your iPod, iPhone, or Android device and listen to music. Your mobile phone and other devices may be wirelessly associated so that you can stream your preferred music from any audio source.

You can share applications with your smartphone on some devices. With MirrorLink connectivity, the newest models, everything you see on your smartphone’s interface displays on the receiver’s touchscreen as well.

Essential Infotainment Features

Aftermarket car receivers almost all have Bluetooth built in for hands-free calling and music streaming. Some of them can even show text messages on a screen, and some of them have Siri Eyes Free so you can use voice commands to send and receive text messages, make and receive calls, choose and play music, set reminders, and get directions in addition to receiving notifications audibly when used with compatible phones. HD radio may be received by a large number of receivers. HD is a high-quality digital signal that produces noise-free, crystal-clear audio. You can access more stations, as well as song and artist information, without having to pay a subscription.

Rear View Camera Compatibility

Additionally, a lot of aftermarket receivers have inputs for rear-view cameras, so while you’re backing up, the screen will show what’s behind you. This is very useful if you’re driving SUVs, wagons, pickup trucks, or vans.

Installing a car stereo receiver

Factory radios are customized for the vehicle that they are in and may contain features that an aftermarket radio does not have. Manufacturers are well aware of this, and there are accessories that are made specifically to retain the features that are being lost. Common accessories that are needed to make a stereo work are:

  • Dash kit – When removing the factory receiver, it comes with plastic to make it flush with our dashboard. Dash kits are vehicle-specific pieces of plastic that make your receiver look as though it always came with the car.
  • Wiring harness – Adapts the old wires from the factory stereo connections to fit our stereo. These are vehicle specific as well.
  • Steering wheel controls – If you have Volume up and down, next song, or even a voice control on your steering wheel, those are lost when upgrading. There are adapters to retain this feature.
  • AM/FM antenna – To be able to listen to the radio.

Your car’s interior can look completely different once you install new audio. Furthermore, the quality of your newly installed car audio can have a significant impact on the sound quality. Replacing your car stereo usually takes 30-90 minutes. For a complete walkthrough, watch our video above!

Sonic Electronix provides the best vehicle receivers available with Smart device connectivity, DVD playback, rear-view camera compatibility, and a plethora of other capabilities to satisfy all of your infotainment requirements. We also include complimentary vehicle stereo installation equipment with the purchase of any of our car radio receivers. This consists of your dash kit and every wire harness you’ll require to install your new audio correctly. Our customer service and technical support teams are available to you five days a week, and we’re always happy to help!