Sony XAV-AX5000 7” Auto Media Receiver Review – 2020 Deep Dive

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Sony has been around since 1946, for several generations staying on top of the latest technology that consumers seek to make their lives more convenient. The company’s purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology.

Gone are the days of the standard AM/FM Radio with a CD player. That is a dinosaur when we have smartphones and smartwatches offering so much more.

Sony’s XAV-AX5000 CarPlay/Android Auto Media Receiver with Bluetooth is a multimedia unit that came out on April 2, 2018, providing a multitude of features that mimic your smartwatch and smartphone functions. It is compatible with both iPhones and Android phones so you can access your smartphone data from this device while on the road.

Who’s It For?

The features offered in the Sony XAV-AX5000 CarPlay/Android Auto Media Receiver are basic standard fare. That will be plenty for the driver who wants a device that is easy to install, easy to use. The responsive touchscreen that also offers hands-free/voice mode access to the essentials features for the road like music, navigation, and other features that enhance the driver’s road experience.

For drivers who enjoy handling high techy gadgets will quickly find this device dull because it is so simple to use. Pricewise you get a good deal, it is not cheap and it won’t break the bank giving you a quality device.

What We Like About Sony XAV-AX5000 CarPlay/Android Auto Media Receiver

This is a well-designed multimedia unit that is easy to install and use. The connection is reliable, functionality is impeccable. With unparalleled sound quality that is much better than the stock unit that comes with the car. You can rely on a fast boot time for first use.

The Apple Carplay works. You want to upgrade the offered firmware using the USB port.
A large responsive bezel-less touchscreen that is also visually appealing due to its crystal clear screen. It is similar to a smartphone screen experience.

The menu is quite easy to navigate and offers plenty of support.
This is a low-techy user-friendly device which means zero frills with a nice finish. Provides plenty of power, with an intuitive display and settings.

What We Don’t Like About Sony XAV-AX5000 CarPlay/Android Auto Media Receiver

Being basic includes no option to customize the color of the buttons or match the screen color to the car interior.

The Bluetooth feature does not include pairing the phone with this device. A cable must be purchased in order to physically connect the phone to access your music or view the phone’s Caller ID on this unit.

Android phone users experience a lot of technical difficulties to get Android Auto to function with their phone. The connection is not only erratic, but the unit also displays a message that the phone is incompatible with the unit. When using the USB cable, the unit reboots and says “USB1” not supported. Car Play requires a connection via cable to work as well.

In order to reconnect the phone, it has to be turned off for a few minutes, and then it works again. Contact numbers do not automatically load into the unit they have to be manually inputted. Sometimes when connecting the phone to the radio the volume changes on its own.

Attempts to connect the phone with USB cables have resulted in unstable connections that could easily be disrupted by text messages or notifications which would either cause the unit to reboot or completely disconnect the phone.

There have been issues with the time being set back to default, one customer reports having to switch the yellow and red cables on the mount in order that the device had battery power. The unit seems to get too hot in the rear section.

When turning on the radio, after 15-20 minutes the radio will disconnect and reconnect a few times and then stop working. After that, it will not connect through Bluetooth for many hours. When playing music, the front speakers overpower the rear speakers.

Frequently the memory has stopped working and all presets disappear.

There is no option to upload custom wallpaper. The unit face is not designed to allow users to tilt it to the desired direction. From the bottom, the device may stick out if the dash accommodated a differently angled stock radio.

Surprisingly, this device doesn’t have an off switch. In order to turn it off, you need to navigate through two levels to turn off the device.


  • Volume compensation adjustable via Bluetooth
  • Compatible to function with backup camera
  • Responsive, bright and clear screen
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Hands-free


  • Takes a long time to install
  • Bluetooth does not work with Apple Car Play
  • No volume nob

What’s Included?

When you purchase this device the following items also come in the box:

  • Digital media receiver w/ 6.95″ touchscreen monitor
  • Wiring harness
  • RM-X170 Remote control with a CR2025 3V battery installed
  • Microphone w/ bracket (attached 12′ cable terminated by a right-angle mono-3.5mm connector)
  • Two-sided tape
  • 4 ISO-screws
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Sheet

Overview of Features

Let’s expand a bit more on some of the features of this digital multimedia receiver with AM/FM tuner:

Apple car play: When accessing this feature you can access hands-free directions, is compatible with iPhone so you can make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music.

Android auto: once connected to the Android phone you can to display apps on this device’s screen, access maps, music, or your contacts.

Touchscreen: Quick responses to touch via controls you can see and control everything on this bezel-less 6.95″ (diag. ) touchscreen including any maps you need, sort through your library playlists, and phone calls. The display integrates seamlessly with your dashboard. large screen makes every feature easy to access and it wakes up 2.5 times as fast as previous models, so you can get on the road faster.

Quick-access key panel: Navigate the basic features easily and efficiently with a key panel located along the bottom of the device.

Dual USB ports: Plays media from USB memory devices that you can connect to this receiver. Turn on your playlist and enjoy the ride. It also plays FLAC files that are saved on USB drives.

Audio Features: Level Adjustment between minus8 dB to plus 18 dB. 10-band equalizer with digital time alignment. Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) that compensates for low speaker positions and subwoofer controls.

Bluetooth: Allows for hands-free calling and audio streaming.

Sirius XM Radio compatible: The convenience of this satellite tuner means during your drive you can access commercial-free music, sports, news, and entertainment.

Smartphone Features: Access your Pandora/Spotify music lists when you connect your iPhone or Android to this unit.

Inputs: dual rear USB inputs, rear-view camera input

Outputs: 5-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear, subwoofer)

Additional Specs:

  • Wired connection to parking brake is necessary in order to access settings and other features, like video display, on this receiver
  • Built-in internal amp (20 watts RMS/55 peak x 4 channels)
  • CTA-2006 compliant
  • Will fit inside double-DIN dash openings
  • With an adapter, this device is compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls

Review Summary

With the Sony XAV-AX5000 CarPlay/Android Auto Media Receiver you have everything you need that allows you to drive safely, access directions, and enjoy a huge selection of music to enhance your trip.

Voice control gives you hands-free capabilities to navigate any of the many features this multimedia unit offers. For iPhone users, you can utilize Apple Car Play and Android users have Android Auto. When the smartphone is connected (via USB cable) all the features of this device are available to you.
When you input your destination you will be able to follow directions in real-time keeping your hands safely on the wheel throughout the trip. You can find safe rest spots on the way.

Hands-free calls are possible with this device due to the voice control feature, which also allows you to access your radio or music playlist. You can adjust the volume plus other settings while driving.

The dual USB ports allow you to connect USB storage devices and play your extensive music library while your smartphone remains connected to access Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

The new clear bezel-less display duplicates your smartphone screen experience with its simple touchscreen controls. This responsive display “wakes up” 2.5 times faster than its predecessors.

Be certain that before you install this device that your car has an ACC position, otherwise the display does not shut down even when the ignition is off and then you may find that your car battery will drain rather quickly.

You can connect this device with your rear camera if you have one. Then you have the benefit of this device’s clear screen to view together with easy to follow (and removable) guidelines while safely backing up your vehicle.

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