Best DIN Size Radios for Classic Cars
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Best DIN Size Radios for Classic Cars

Best DIN Size Radios for Classic Cars


DIN size radios have been around since the 1980's. These are the standard sized, CD players that were available in the aftermarket and are extremely popular for vehicles up until around 2008. A DIN size radio opening is a standard size that was established in Germany by Deutsches Institut fur Normung (DIN). The opening on a single DIN head unit is 180mm x 50mm which is 7.08" x 1.97". These days, DIN head units are available with or without CD players. The models without CD players are referred to as, "Mechless."

Best Overall
Best Overall Single DIN Radio
Kenwood Excelon KDC-X304
$
The best overall single DIN car radio. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X304 has virtually everything you would want in a head unit.
Best Classic Styling
Best Single DIN with Classic Styling
Custom Autosound USA4-DIN
$190.95
The perfect radio if your classic car dash has been cut to a DIN size opening, or if you want a more traditional appearance in the dash of your newer vehicle.
Best with HD Radio Tuner
Best Single DIN with HD Radio Tuner
Kenwood Excelon KDC-X704
$190.95
Radio comes with a built-in HD Radio tuner. HD Radio is a version of AM and FM radio signals that are digital instead of analog.
The Best
Best Overall Single DIN Radio

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X304 is the best overall, single DIN car radio. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X304 has virtually everything you would want in a head unit with the following features:

  • 50W x 4 Peak Power (22W x 4 RMS)
  • AM/FM Tuner
  • CD Player
  • Bluetooth
  • Front AUX
  • Front USB Port
  • 3 Sets of 5V RCA Pre-Outs (Front/Rear/Sub)
  • Made for iPod/iPhone
  • Alexa Built-In
  • Pandora Control
  • Spotify Control
  • Sirius XM Ready (Tuner Sold Separately)
  • Wireless Music Browsing
  • Remote App Capability
  • Wireless Music Browsing
  • Graphic EQ with Digital Time Alignment
  • FLAC, WAV, MP3, WMA, and AAC Support
  • Android Rapid Charge
  • Variable Color Illumination
  • 2 Year Warranty

If you are looking to replace your vehicle's head unit, the Kenwood KDC-X304 does virtually everything except for HD Radio. The KDC-X304 does not have an HD radio tuner. However, if you use Pandora, Spotfy, Apple Music, or any of the other music streaming services, you can listen to virtually any song you could ever want, any time you want. In addition, you can load your favorite songs on a USB thumb drive and those files from the front-mounted, USB port. If you absolutely have to have HD Radio, please check out the KDC-X704.

Best Classic Looking Single DIN Radio

The Custom Autosound USA-4 DIN radio is perfect if your dash has been cut to a DIN size opening, or if you want a more traditional appearance in the dash of your newer vehicle. The Custom Autosound USA4-DIN size radios are available in both black and chrome and have a ribbed appearance to look like a black or chrome metal faceplate on an old, tuner-shaft style radio. You can debate how, "Classic" it looks, but for a DIN size unit, it is going to look older than a Kenwood or Sony head unit.

  • 40W x 4 Peak Power
  • AM/FM Tuner
  • CD Player
  • Bluetooth
  • Fold Down & Detachable Faceplate
  • Front AUX Jack
  • Front USB Port
  • Jumbo Size Digital Display Readout
  • CD/WMA/SD/MMC Interface
  • 1 Set of RCA Pre-Outs
  • 2 Year Warranty

The Custom Autosound USA4-DIN radio also has virtually all of the features you might want. The USA4 does not have front, rear, and subwoofer pre-outs and it doesn't have the fancier options for your music apps and smart phone connections, but it does have USB, AUX, and Bluetooth. You can use the USB to charge your phone, but it will not play the songs off of your phone via the USB connection. You will need to connect via Bluetooth or AUX to play the music. The USA4-DIN radio is slightly more expensive than the Kenwood and Sony options, but you are paying for the classic appearance ant eh styling with this radio. If you need a DIN size radio but the Kenwood and Sony units look too modern, the Custom Autosound USA4-DIN is the perfect option for you.

Best Single DIN with HD Radio Tuner

The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X704 is the same radio as the KDC-X304, except that the 704 comes with a built-in HD Radio tuner. HD Radio is a version of AM and FM radio signals that are digital instead of analog. The radio stations broadcast the content digitally, on the same signal frequency with less noise while also adding additional stations. You might have 106.7, 106.7-1, 106.7-2 where there are actually three different radio stations at 106.7 instead of only 1. Many new cars come with HD radio tuners, but the music streaming services like Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify have limited to popularity of HD Radio. If you love HD Radio, go with this unit, the KDC-X704. If HD Radio sounds confusing and you have no idea what it is, save yourself the money and get the KDC-X304.

  • 50W x 4 Peak Power (22W x 4 RMS)
  • HD Radio Tuner
  • AM/FM Tuner
  • CD Player
  • Bluetooth
  • Front AUX
  • Front USB Port
  • 3 Sets of 5V RCA Pre-Outs (Front/Rear/Sub)
  • Made for iPod/iPhone
  • Alexa Built-In
  • Pandora Control
  • Spotify Control
  • Sirius XM Ready (Tuner Sold Separately)
  • Wireless Music Browsing
  • Remote App Capability
  • Wireless Music Browsing
  • Graphic EQ with Digital Time Alignment
  • FLAC, WAV, MP3, WMA, and AAC Support
  • Android Rapid Charge
  • Variable Color Illumination
  • 2 Year Warranty

If you want an HD Radio tuner, go with this radio, the KDC-X704. The KDC-X304 model that does not have the HD Radio tuner is much more popular.

Editor's Favorite

If I am putting a DIN size head unit in my vehicle, I am going with the Kenwood Exclon KDC-X304. If it is a DIN size radio, it's a DIN size radio. Yes, the USA4-DIN has the classic look, but the apperance doesn't do anything for me and I am not going to pay the premium for something that doesn't move me. I don't listen to HD Radio so I don't need the KDC-X704. For the Sony unit, if I want more power or a subwoofer, I would opt for an external amplifier. At the end of the day, the KDC-X304 has everything I want and need, it's priced right, it is Kenwood Excelon so I know that the quality is there, and it is backed by a two-year warranty.

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