What Is a 1.5 DIN Car Stereo?

One and a half DINs

1.5 din radio in a car
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Car stereo head units come in all shapes and sizes, which can make upgrading a tricky proposition. Most vehicles came with either single or double DIN radios for decades, but there are thousands of cars and trucks out there with head units that fall into a strange in-between category that's typically referred to as 1.5 DIN or Din-and-a-half.

What Is DIN-and-a-Half?

Although 1.5 DIN isn’t an official head unit standard, it's actually in good company there. The much more common double DIN car radio form factor actually isn't an official standard either. In fact, the only codified head unit form factor is single DIN, which specifies a width and a height. Din-and-a-half head units are simply half again as tall as single DIN, and double DIN head units are twice as tall.

While dozens of automakers have used the single and double DIN form factors, 1.5 DIN is far less common. It is most commonly found in GM products, like Chevy, Cadillac and GMC cars and trucks.

In some cases, it can be tough to tell whether or not a vehicle has a 1.5 DIN radio, which is why it's important to measure, or consult a compatibility guide or fit chart, before purchasing a head unit upgrade.

When it does come time to upgrade a 1.5 DIN car radio, there are a number of different ways to proceed. In some cases, it's even possible to step up to a full double DIN head unit, although that is more of an exception than a rule.

Car Radio DIN Measurements

While not all car radios conform to a DIN standard, the ones that do are uniform in height and width. Depth does vary, and there is no standard depth for car radios. However, determining whether you're working with a 1.5 DIN radio, or one of the other two, is really as simple as measuring the height of the unit.

Type Height Width
Single DIN 2 inches 7 inches
Double DIN 4 inches 7 inches
1.5 DIN (Din-and-a-half) 3 inches 7 inches

Fitting a Double DIN Head Unit into a 1.5 DIN Car Stereo Slot

In most cases, 1.5 DIN car radios need to be replaced by either 1.5 DIN or single DIN aftermarket units. However, there are a few situations where it's actually possible to install a full double DIN unit.

The only way to tell for sure is to remove the bezel around the radio, and any other necessary dash components, to see how much space is available. If the original radio came with a spacer plate, or a storage pocket, above or below the unit, then there may be enough space to fit a double DIN head unit.

In cases where there is enough space to replace a 1.5 DIN radio with a double DIN radio, there is sometimes actually an original equipment (OE) bezel or dash trim piece designed for the larger radio. In other cases, the only available option is to fabricate a custom bezel or trim piece.

Aftermarket brackets are available for many applications where there is enough space in the dash to upgrade from 1.5 DIN to double DIN, although you may or may not be able to find one that works with any given head unit. Either way, you'll want to actually measure instead of just taking it as a given.

Actually installing a double DIN head unit in place of a 1.5 DIN unit is the easy part. After that, you have to deal with the bezel, and you’re essentially looking at three options:

  1. Buy an aftermarket bezel or car stereo dash kit that’s designed to accept double DIN head units.
    1. You need to make sure that the aftermarket component will both fit your dash and your new radio.
    2. Depending on the car you drive, you may or may not be able to find this type of aftermarket component.
  2. Buy an OEM bezel for a newer version of your vehicle that’s designed for double DIN head units.
    1. In a perfect world, this is the easiest and cleanest option.
    2. We don't live in a perfect world, so you can't just assume that a newer bezel, or any dash component, will actually fit an older vehicle.
  3. Pay for someone to modify your bezel, or do it yourself.
    1. Modifying your dash yourself can be messy, so it isn't for the faint of heart.
    2. Hiring someone to do this type of work can also be hit or miss, so make sure that you find someone with a proven track record.
    3. When done professionally, this type of modification can look just as clean as a factory install.

In many cases, the best option is to call the dealer, or even visit and ask to look at their parts diagrams, or the actual parts, if they are on hand.

If an aftermarket or OEM replacement isn’t an option, then modifying your existing bezel is the next best thing. There are people out there who specialize in exactly this type of work, although you can do it yourself if you’re good at that sort of thing.

Cutting into a bezel so that the double DIN head unit fits isn't that hard, although doing it so that the finished product looks good can be difficult.

Single DIN vs. 1.5 DIN

In most cases, the best option for upgrading a 1.5 DIN head unit is to just install an aftermarket single DIN head unit. Since single DIN is about an inch thinner than 1.5 DIN, replacing the larger of the two with the smaller doesn't require any extra work.

Some aftermarket car radio retailers even offer install kits that come with the appropriate brackets and spacers or storage pockets to makes use of the extra inch of void space under your new head unit. The last step in our our car stereo install guide shows what a single DIN head unit with a storage pocket looks like.

Although double DIN head units are great for video, navigation, and other functions, you can find single DIN head units that stack up pretty well. Some single DIN head units even have fold-out touchscreens that are just as big as the static screens you see on double DIN units, so stepping down from double or 1.5 DIN to single DIN might not be the downgrade that some people see it as. The array of options available from aftermarket head units is staggering.