Sony XAV-AX200 Review – Is it the ultimate stereo?

Sony XAV-AX200 DVD Receiver w/Bluetooth MP3 Satellite Radio, Apple Car Play and Android Auto (Disco by Manufacturer)

I was shocked by how much better the stock system sounded after the upgrade…

To have a great quality sound, you need to get top of the line speakers with subs and amps. So I was told. Imagine my surprise when I’ve changed my old stereo, and it felt like being in a  concert hall.

This is the reason why I’ve created this Sony XAV-AX200 review. Believe me; I know how hard it is to find a good double din car stereo. The market is filled with all kinds of stuff.

The mechanic who advised me to do the whole overhaul only said what he knew best. I know if I invest more in better speakers and subs, I can get better music quality. Then I ask myself, do I want to blow a few thousand on it, or this is enough?

Here’s a quick preview for the head unit. It has all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need. It supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. You can mount three cameras. It has a volume knob which is missing from most stereos.

This car stereo delivers excellent sound quality.  We shouldn’t forget about all the great features that come with it. All the popular apps work like Google Maps, Pandora, Waze. If you want to do audio streaming there are more than enough sources to choose from.

With this list, we just scratched the surface.

Let’s get this Sony XAV-AX200 review started.

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

Pros
  • This unit delivers on sound and features
  • The matte finish it transmits luxury
  • Resistive touch screen doesn’t attract too many fingerprints
Cons
  • You have to read the mandatory warning at every startup
  • Main items can’t be moved or deleted

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-AX200 for?

The Sony XAV-AX200 car stereo is for those people who want to use Android Auto and Apple Carplay.

It’s for those who want to be entertained during driving.

The main customers for this head unit are people who don’t want cheap looking head units. They want it to look great and look stock at the same time.

 

What can the Sony XAV-AX200 do for you?

I will limit myself to a few things; otherwise, we would be here for hours.

Two things are important about the look and feel of this unit. First of all, it’s a mat finish. This automatically stands out from all the cheap-looking shiny plastics.

The screen is awesome. This is by far the best one I’ve seen. There is only a minimal amount of fingerprints left on it. The touch screen is 6.4” and it’s responsive and easy to use. The glare is minimal.

Finally, Sony DVD receiver allows us to upload our own background. Yeay, but you can’t change the icons on the main menu boo.

The Sony XAV-AX200 satellite radio comes with three camera inputs. What’s the 3rd one for? I get it that you can install a dash cam and a backup camera. Maybe it’s for selfies? That wouldn’t be safe driving.

Here are the two main selling points. It supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. This means that Siri and Google Assistant will be helping you with hands-free voice commands. You can do screen mirroring with ease.

You can choose from many entertainment sources. Besides the standard Radio and CD/DVD player, you have SiriusXM ready. We shouldn’t forget that all the favorite music apps are there Pandora, Spotify.

It comes with a volume knob. How cool is that? You can change the sound to your liking without searching for the digital buttons.

 

Sony XAV-AX200 satellite radio shortcomings

I try to limit the hype for every car stereo that I review. With all these features, the Sony XAV-AX200 DVD receiver has flaws that need to be addressed. If I didn’t touch on them, I would be doing a disservice.

The first item on my list is the mandatory warnings. This is displayed each time you start your engine. You have to wait 20s to disappear. I didn’t find anything to remove it. Maybe you have? Please share it with the rest of us.

I was super excited about the volume knob. Sadly it’s small. It’s so easy to miss it while you’re driving. They deserve an A for the effort, and the bigger, the better.

Consumers reported that they couldn’t use iPods and flash drives. Well, here’s the thing. Only the latest iPods are supported. As for the pen drives, make sure they are less than 32gib. Plus, it needs to be formatted FAT32; otherwise, it won’t be detected.

Why does the menu have to be so rigid? For example, you can’t change the icons. I’ve removed my SiriusXM tuner, and I will not use the app. Guess what? You can’t remove the shortcut from the main menu.

Now I have some beef with the DVD receiver. In my ride, the headrests have built in TVs. This is a lifesaver if you have kids on a long trip. Everything works perfectly until I flip navigation on. Instantly the DVD output is killed. There’s still sound but no video. I bet this can be easily fixed with a software update.

The last thing I want to mention is that Apple Carplay kills Bluetooth connection. This means that Siri goes away. These last choices are not logical. I hope they will be fixed.

 

How To Get The Most Out Of Sony XAV-AX200?

The first thing is to get it installed. I have no idea how to wire these stereos, so I leave it to the pros. It saves me from a lot of headaches.

To truly enjoy hands-free controls, you might want to get an extra device. You will need something along the lines of iDatalink Maestro. This gadget lets you keep your steering wheel controls and buttons with some extras.

After installing it, you will be able to get vehicle diagnostic info.

Don’t forget, you can customize your background image. That is so cool

Did you know you can shut the screen off in two moves?

Hot tip: you have to press the knob and then select “Source off”. Now you have the screen off for a more relaxing night drive.

 

Sony XAV-AX200 Review Conclusion

As you have read, you can get a better sounding system with no major overhaul. The extra bass is mind blowing. If you get a good car stereo half, the battle is won.

We have reached the end of the Sony XAV-AX200 review. I hope you have learned everything there’s about the head unit. Now it’s your turn. Is it the right one for you?

If you happen to have this unit does share your experiences. And as always I’m looking for great stereos to review. Send me a message about your suggestions.

Catch you next time.
Sony XAV-AX200 DVD Receiver w/Bluetooth MP3 Satellite Radio, Apple Car Play and Android Auto (Disco by Manufacturer)

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Can I keep my steering wheel controls with the XAV-AX200 DVD receiver?

By default, you won’t be able to keep the steering wheel controls with this satellite radio. You will need to buy the iDatalink Maestro. This device with the right configuration will help you keep stock buttons. Plus you will be able to make phone calls hands-free. Don’t forget to review Sony where you have purchased it from.

What about audio video?

This Sony satellite radio has both audio video in and out.

Should I consider the Sony XAV-AX5000 an alternative for Sony XAV-AX200?

Yes, it’s one of the best alternatives. Take a look at the Sony XAV-AX5000 review for more details.

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.