Sony XAV-AX100 Review: A Simple, Yet Powerful Head Unit

Sony XAVAX1000 6.2" (15.7 cm) Apple CarPlay Media Receiver with BluetoothI can watch a full movie while my kids…

…get off ballet classes.  If you have to wait for people, there’s no better way to spend the time than watching a movie.

My kids attend ballet and music classes. There’s nothing for me to do during that time.

This is why I’ve created the Sony XAV-AX100 review.

I drop off the kids; then I pop in a movie to watch. You should see how time flies. Since I can’t do any shopping because the classes are one hour long, I had to find something else to pass the time. I’ve bought this car stereo.

Better yet, if you’re watching TV series, then I could finish one or two sitcoms during one class. During the winter, if the car gets cold, I start it up and keep warm.

What else can this Sony XAV-AX100 do for you besides watch movies?

First of all, the sound quality is amazing. Everything sounds a lot better after I’ve installed this head unit. The built-in Bluetooth is fast. You turn the key, and it’s on. It has an actual volume knob.

The look is clean and modern. It sits well in the dash.  It’s a single DIN car stereo with a double DIN display. The buttons are nice and easy to reach. There’s a lot more as soon as we dive in.

Let’s get this Sony XAV-AX100 review started.

Here’s the bird’s eye view for this head unit.

Pros
  • Sound quality is phenomenal
  • Built-in Bluetooth connection established as you turn the key
  • It has a good volume knob for easy sound level adjustment
Cons
  • In colder temperature slower touchscreen response
  • No multi-touch for the display

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Who can help me install it? Click Here to Check

Who is the Sony XAV-AX100 for?

This Sony unit is for those who appreciate the great sound and want to pass the time while waiting.

As I mentioned before, I can stay up to date with my shows while my kids are in classes. The sound quality is in a league of its own. Let it be radio or audio streaming. The levels are out of this world.

This unit is also for those who are safety conscious. Apple Carplay and Android Auto will help you make hands-free calling as easy as possible.

 

What can the Sony XAV-AX100 do for you?

This Sony digital receiver has all the bells and whistles that you need. The #1 feature that stands out is the amazing sound quality. I mean like WOW. That was my first experience when I plugged one of my favorite songs.

You can do audio streaming from your phone. It’s compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. There’s the USB port, and you need to connect by a USB cable. There’s no wireless Carplay or Android phone connection with this model.

The built-in Bluetooth, on the other hand, is fast. I usually turn the key, and the built-in Bluetooth connection is established. Once you connected your iPhone or Android smartphone, you can do the hands-free calling. This is what I like about this stereo. It keeps us safe while on the road.

I can concentrate on driving while Siri Eyes Free or Google Assistant manages my phones. Hands-free calling has never been easier.

Have I mentioned that the sound quality is leagues ahead of the competition? You don’t have to change your stock speakers either.

It comes with the 6.4” screen size. The touch screen display is resistive.

We shouldn’t forget about the volume knob. For some, it sticks out like a sore thumb. For me, it’s a great feature because I’m so used to it. With one quick turn and the sound has changed. Plus, it’s easy to mute it.

 

Sony XAV-AX100 shortcomings

As you know, there’s no car stereo without flaws. And this is the case with the Sony XAV-AX100 head unit. Let’s see if any of these misses are a deal-breaker for you.

Sony has some kind of fetish for warning messages. This is an ongoing problem with all of their units. When you turn the car on, the warning appears. To make matters worse, it won’t auto disappear. You need to acknowledge it. To my knowledge, there’s no workaround that.

The second issue that I found that it seems to be a bit sluggish at boot up. It takes 15-20s to start. I know that I’m impatient, and this feels like an eternity. Maybe for others, this is reasonable.

Let’s talk about the touchscreen display a bit. This has more bugs. For example, when it’s cold outside like -10, then it starts to lag. It’s a resistive touch screen, so no wonder. In other temperatures, this head unit is snappy.

My second issue is more like a first world problem. It doesn’t support multi-touch input. I guess I got way used to smartphone displays. My last note is the glare that happens when direct sunlight hits it. Don’t get me wrong they did a great job otherwise. There’s only glare when direct sunlight hits it.

Since it’s not a cheap head unit, I expected the faceplate to be removable. Well, it’s not the case with this Sony stereo. Hopefully, it would be thieves to stay away from my car.

There’s no CD/DVD player, but who needs them in the era of pen drives? Talking about audio streaming from USB, there’s a small hiccup. You need to add all your music into one folder, or it won’t find all of them.

These were the drawbacks of this Sony deck. Are you still with me?

 

How To Get The Most Out Of the Sony XAV-AX100?

The first thing you need to do is get it installed. I’m not good with wiring, so this is why I leave it for the pros.

If you wish to keep your steering wheel controls, you need to buy one more device. It’s called Metra Axxess, and it’s sold separately. This will allow you to keep your steering wheel controls.

After you’re done with the installation, there’s one more thing to mount, and this is the backup camera (rear camera). The Sony XAV-AX100 car stereo has camera input so you can mount one for safer and faster parking. There’s no rear view camera coming with the package. It’s sold separately.

Finally, we’re done with the boring stuff. Now it’s time to enjoy your new stereo. Don’t forget that it comes with an EQ5 10-band equalizer. This will allow you to tinker with the sound quality until you have perfect it.

I’ve reviewed a similar Sony head unit. Take a look at the Sony XAV-AX200 review.

Sony XAV-AX100 Review Conclusion

As you know, Sony is one of the industry pioneers. Their stereos are top-notch.  When they put one on the market, they deliver. This Sony XAV-AX100 car stereo has it all like a strong and fast built-in Bluetooth connection. The sound quality is the best.

It’s compatible with both iPhone and Android phones. You can use your favorite streaming apps, like Pandora and Spotify.

This is the reason why I’ve created the Sony XAV-AX100 review.

Do you have any experience with this stereo? Do share them below. Also, if you have ideas, what should I review next get in touch with me.

Catch you next time.
Sony XAVAX1000 6.2" (15.7 cm) Apple CarPlay Media Receiver with Bluetooth

Does it fit in my car? Click Here to Check
Who can help me install it? Click Here to Check

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How big is the resistive touch screen?

The resistive touch screen is 6.4″ wide.

Can I do Bluetooth audio playback with this Sony head unit?

Yes you can do Bluetooth audio playback. After your phone is connected you can use voice control and actually use navigation like Google Maps. With the help of voice control you can play music as well.

Is the Sony XAV-AX1000 a good alternative for the Sony XAV-AX100?

Yes, you can find out more after reading the Sony XAV-AX1000 review.

How good is this Sony car stereo?

According to customer reviews it’s long lasting and over delivers.

Can I keep my steering wheel control after the upgrade?

When you change your stereo you usually lose the steering wheel control. Not all is lost. There are devices that help you keep it. If you don’t want to invest in them you can always rely on Apple Carplay Android Auto. As you know with Apple Car play you get access to Siri Eyes Free.

 

Last Updated on April 12, 2020

About Danny Reid
About Danny Reid

Danny here, no matter in which market you’re in it’s flooded with products. Maybe you want a new stereo, amps, speakers or subs? This is why the blog exists to cut through the clutter.
My goal with the reviews is to inform you of the best possible to make the right decision.
Plus if you’re stuck with “the blue wire is connected to???” I have many hot tips to get you out of a jam.