Re­ceiver Re­view

Pasmag (Canada) - - Tr. -

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

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