Building a simple car audio system – part 3 – 1 din or 2 din radio



The choice between a 1 din radio, a 2 din radio or a multimedia station is not that easy. First of all, we must take into account the mounting options of our car. Not every car has a place for a two-din radio. Special adapters are available in stores, which, after removing the factory radio, allow the installation of a larger unit. However, if we only have space for 1 din, we will not enlarge it with a grinder.

2 din radios are the most popular in the market today. They can operate navigation, digital radio, DVBT TV, play music from memory cards or pendrives, and even connect to the Internet or play YouTube videos. A lot of such multimedia stations use the Android system. It is very useful, because if we have a telephone with such a system, we can use the mirror-link function to control the telephone on the radio or extend the radio with additional applications.

Head unit manufacturers will do whatever it takes to sell their product. They put as much as possible into it, so before we make a decision, we have to define what our expectations are. When buying a radio with a BT module, we also automatically have a hands-free kit. Such a radio will make it easier to talk on the phone without having to touch it. Thanks to BT, we also have music streaming, i.e. transfer of music from the phone to the car audio system.

We can also buy a multimedia station with a navigation module that will lead us to any destination throughout Europe, or a device that will have a built-in DVBT tuner. Thanks to this, we will be able to watch your favorite series or TV program while waiting in the car.

1 din radios up to a certain price range do not differ much, except for the design, so most customers simply choose the one that they like the most. They play on a very similar level. Only from a certain price level can we start looking for quality in sound. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer 1 din audiophile units on the market. There used to be many more of them. The assemblers could choose between a Clarion, Alpine or a high Pioneer model, which made it easier to build a car audio system based on a good radio. Currently, more and more people are buying these aftermarket radios or making up for the configuration with amplifiers with sound processors.

The most popular are 1 din radios in the price range from 50-80 euro. When deciding on such a purchase, we are mainly guided by the design, whether the unit has a pendrive slot or whether it lights up in green or blue. Bluetooth connectivity will certainly be an advantage.

Power on 1 and 2 din radios

Some of the units available on the market have a power of 4 × 55 watts. This is the maximum musical power, but you shouldn’t be too influenced by it. This is due to the tension we have in the car. When the car is started, we have about 14 volts in the car’s electrical system, so such a radio will actually have about 20 – 25 watts of musical power. For the radio to have more power, it must have a built-in current converter, i.e. as in the case of an amplifier. If the inverter in the radio is able to raise the voltage from 12 to, for example, 50 volts, the real power will be greater.

For a simple car audio system, this power is enough. In the event that we have higher requirements than the average Jon Doe, we should decide to buy an amplifier. It will work much better than buying a more expensive radio with theoretically more power.

Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewicz
Hi, I am the author of the blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More in this category

Latest articles