SONY XAV-AX200 AV
ony's all new XAV-AX200 builds on the popularity of the XAV-AX100, but now it includes a CD/DVD transport as well. A perfect choice for smartphone integration, it features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. This allows you to control your favorite features with the unit's touchscreen or voice commands, as well as receive spoken directions from navigation apps. To further simplify your life, it even automatically detects the type of phone you're using!
In addition to the DVD player, the XAV-AX200 also comes with a host of other features and functions, but the real story here is the availability of Android Auto and CarPlay. Apple's CarPlay has been around for a while now, but only recently has the Android Auto app really taken off, and people in the know seem to think it's going to be even more popular than the Apple system. Whether you're an Apple or an Android person doesn't matter, what's important is that a compatible receiver, like this Sony, allows you to push the information on your phone to the large display in the car's dash. This keeps your phone out of your hand, and makes you safer while driving. Navigation is always at the ready, and you can even have your text messages and emails read to you. Any phone-based apps like iHeart Radio, Spotify, or Pandora will now work on the display of the Sony radio in your dash.
The XAV-AX200 has other cool features as well, such as three camera inputs for three externally connected cameras (one must be reverse), allowing the driver to link up to them and view the images on the receiver's display. Of course, the unit also supports Bluetooth hands-free calling and streaming, SiriusXM Radio, and it will even play back FLAC audio format files stored on a USB drive.
On the audio side of things, the Sony won't disappoint. A 20x4 amplifier is built in, and there are front, rear, and sub-out pre-amp connections, with four volts of output. Combine that with a 10-band EQ, Sony's “Extra Bass” bass reinforcement, DSO (Dynamic Stage Organizer) and built-in crossovers, and you've got a ton of tunability and adjustment at your fingertips. The XAV-AX200 is compatible with many factory steering wheel controls, without needing an adapter.
I like the clean and simple layout of the controls and on screen menus. Everything is extremely intuitive to use - I didn't even need the manual. The touchscreen works well and provides sharp, clear video performance. I'll also give a nod to the rotary encoderstyle volume control, which is simply the best possible way to control the volume on a car radio; you don't have to look for a button, and when your hand falls on it, you simply rotate the knob. It doesn't