Stereo, for stereophonic, denotes sound emanating from two speaker channels (or more than two), as we see nowadays in more advanced car audio systems).
By giving the impression that particular instruments are playing in various locations around the room, even just the left and right speaker channels can bring an audio recording closer to a live performance.
Here’s What A Head Unit In A Car Stereo
Several parts make up the entire stereo system in your car, it includes speakers, the head unit, the radio, and much more. The head unit is the main controller of the system where you can control volume, adjust tone, tune AM/FM radio channels or make phone calls in the compatible ones. Since it controls the majority of the functions of a car stereo it is called the head unit.
- Here's What A Head Unit In A Car Stereo
- Why Is It Called A Head Unit?
- What Does A Head Unit Do?
- What Is A Single And Double Din Head Unit?
- Are The Head Unit And Radio The Same Thing?
- Are Car Stereo Head Units Universal?
- Different Types Of Head Units
- Wrapping up
In this article, among all parts of the car stereo, we will discuss the head unit.
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Why Is It Called A Head Unit?
The head unit is the part of the stereo system that we see at the center of the dashboard.
This unit is like the command center of the entire audio system.
The passengers interact with it and decide what kind of music they want to listen to, the volume, or the radio channel.
Due to all of this, it is like the brain of the audio department in a car and hence the name, head unit.
Without the head unit, the car stereo can’t function!
What Does A Head Unit Do?
A typical automotive head unit is one box on your dashboard that houses everything but the speakers.
It essentially creates sound from recorded formats like a CD and other digital media and over-the-air signals like radio.
The most basic function of a head unit is providing a user interface, including screens and button controls which help increase the entertainment in a car.
It controls all the sounds inside your car. Therefore, the better your head unit, the better the quality of the music.
Apart from control over the music, the head units in modern cars also come with a display screen, which can be used for navigation.
Apps such as Google Maps can be downloaded, and the route can be displayed to the driver on the dashboard.
What Is A Single And Double Din Head Unit?
The DIN (Deutch Industri Normen) size is the opening of the chassis where the stereo fits.
Now, there are two standard sizes for car stereos:
Single DIN with size 2 x 7 inches
Double DIN with size 4 x 7 inches
As you can see, the width of the opening remains the same irrespective of the length.
The length of the stereo depends on the functions it has to serve.
If you have a simple car where the only use of the stereo is to play music, a single din head unit is sufficient.
However, a double din unit is generally used if it has to serve functions such as navigation, this is because a touchscreen comes into play here.
It is quite difficult to operate a small screen and see where you’re going on it, this could potentially distract the driver.
Hence, as said above, a double din is used since it makes the screen very easy to use and view.
However, a few single din head units in the market have foldable touchscreens, so they don’t take up more space.
Ultimately, it depends on the car’s model since it will normally have an inbuilt chassis and stereo.
Are The Head Unit And Radio The Same Thing?
The head unit is the brain of the car’s audio system, and the radio is a part of the head unit itself.
However, they are not the same since a head unit comprises much more than just the radio.
The radio of a car is the part that comprises the tuner and the receiver. Both of these have an AM/FM radio tuner.
However, this is only one part of the head unit. The other aspects, such as navigation and weather details, function through internet services and thus do not form a part of the radio.
Are Car Stereo Head Units Universal?
No, head units are not universal.
As discussed above, there are different sizes for head units with two standard ones.
You can’t just take any head unit and fit it into your car. It depends on the size of the opening in the dashboard, which has been made by the manufacturers.
There are several online databases where you can search your car model and see its head unit size.
You can even measure it yourself. Simply removing the screws holding the trim in place is all that is required.
Avoid skipping this step at all costs to avoid damaging the trim.
After removing the trim, you can see what you are working with more clearly.
So, when you’ve taken off the trim, gauge the stereo’s width and height. You can choose the size of the car stereo you want to buy using these specifications.
Different Types Of Head Units
There are several types of head units for a car, such as Kenwood, Sony, JVC, Alpine, and Pioneer head units.
However, it depends on what type of head unit your car is compatible with.
You can also have Android and Apple head units using the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay applications.
This software allows you to connect your phone to the head unit, which then customizes the display on the screen as well as the apps available to you.
Just like your brain is the most important part of your body, your head unit is the most important part of your audio system.
Without it, you cannot operate the system. It needs to be handled with care, and the right decisions need to be made when installing it.
The music you play in your car hugely contributes to the driver and passengers’ satisfaction.
Remove that, and your car ride can get very awkward and boring, especially if it’s a long ride.
Of course, the quality of the speakers matters too.
With the right speakers, you can transport yourself to a concert every time you get into the car.