Sony has released the XAV-AX100 receiver at the enticing retail price of $729 – and it’s certainly stirred a lot of interest at AV-DC.
The unit is a fixed-face double DIN unit – fixed, because there’s no disc transport necessitating a motorised face. The XAV-A100 is simplicity in practice – Sony has made a unit full of modern features, without cluttering it with distractions and unnecessary stuff that gets in the way of enjoying your music every day. It’s got a neat shadow chrome trim, and simple controls for home, track and a proper volume knob.
Of interest is it’s single DIN chassis – that means it runs a full-size touchscreen, but only a half-size frame behind it, making it ideal for cars like BMW’s E46 3-series, which doesn’t have room for a full size double DIN chassis in the dash.
Connectivity comes via Bluetooth and USB – which hosts the all-important phone connectivity. It’s capable of playing most music and video files and has connection for a reversing camera as well as 3 sets of RCA preamp outputs to run amplifiers, as well as being compatible with steering wheel controls via a suitable adapter. It can also run stand-alone navigation via Sony’s optional XA-NV400 TomTom navigation module as well.
The simplicity continues when using the unit – it has a beautiful menu system, again without frills to get in the way. It’s responsive, neat, and easy to find your way around. You can scroll menus easily with the flick of a finger. Plug in your phone, and it switches seamlessly to the Android or Apple interface, depending on your phone. There, it’s straightforward to use a number of apps on your phone including your contacts, maps, music and more – including Siri.
Perhaps the stand-out in our experience is the refinement at this price point. The display is sharp. The reversing camera image comes up very quickly if reverse is engaged while the unit is still powering up. The display not only dims at night, but you can choose how much to dim it, and the reversing camera guidelines are fully configurable to line up with your car. These are just some of the features which make it a ‘next-generation’ unit from Sony’s previous offerings.