Sony XAV AX5000 Review

Remember the days when all you had in your car was the radio? The tiresome switching between stations - from cheesy chit-chat to disco hits of the past to the constant drone of the news?

Yep. We remember too, and to be honest, we don’t think there’s much to be nostalgic about. These days, car radios are a thing of the past - and don't get us started on CD and Cassette players!

Cue the multimedia receiver: these neat devices fit into your dash where the radio would usually be, to give the impression of a “floating touchscreen.”

These screens not only make EQ equalization way easier but also connect to your smartphone to open up a whole world of technical possibilities. 


One of the best multimedia receivers on the market is the Sony XAV-AX5000: an elegant and sophisticated high-end multimedia system with a range of features, including Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a HD backup camera for all your in-car tech needs.

Complete with easy-to-use icons and pages, a voice command system and a crystal clear 7” flat mirror LCD display, in-car multimedia receivers don’t get more advanced than this. 

Interested in finding out more about this nifty multimedia receiver? Keep reading for our insight into its best features, benefits and drawbacks, and of course, our all-important final verdict...  

Who is it for?

It sounds like an obvious answer, but the Sony XAV-AX5000 is for everyone. It’s easy to use, making it widely accessible, it’s compatible with both Apple and Android systems so you can simply mirror all your apps on-screen, and it’s perfect for music lovers who frequently use Spotify or Apple Music. 

It’s especially aimed at those who prefer a high-end, sophisticated design - and really, who doesn’t?! You don’t get that cheap, plastic look with this multimedia receiver. 

Best features

In a nutshell: 

  • Connects to your Android or Apple smartphone 
  • Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Bezel-less 7” Screen 
  • Hands-free voice command 
  • 10-band graphic equalizer and Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) to tailor your music to your sound preferences

Music your way

Without a doubt, this multimedia receiver is centered around clearer, smoother audio play. If you frequently use Pandora or Spotify to listen to music on your iPhone or Android, you'll dig playing music through this receiver.

You also have the option of radio play - and unlike the classic car radio, add a SiriusXM tuner to the Sony XAV and enjoy a map of deep radio programming that will remain crystal clear from coast to coast. 

You can also take control of your music through a range of sound-sculpting controls that let you truly tailor your sound.

The Sony XAV features a 10-band graphic equalizer and Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) which creates virtual speakers on your dash for better sound staging.

Underpinning this sound system is Sony's powerful Dynamic Reality Amp 2 and front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs for amplifying your sound. 

Wireless connectivity

You can enjoy the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity which eliminates the need for cables. The Sony XAV enables wireless streaming for music, podcasts, and audiobooks, along with the convenience of hands-free phone calls and voice command, meaning there’s never a reason for you to take your eyes off the road. 

Bezel-less 7” Screen

The Sony XAV offers one of the sharpest screens on the market thanks to its bezel-less 7" flat mirror LCD display, plus the easy-to-read icons allow you to effortlessly access all of your apps. This screen also has a quick response time and is super simple to use.

Whereas other screens are easily marked with fingerprints and dust, this isn’t the case with the Sony XAV. 

What we liked

We really like the overall look of this receiver. 

Sony is known for its top quality designs and this product certainly looks the part with its sleek and sophisticated design which fits seamlessly into most dashes.

We loved the quick response time and easy-to-read menu, which made operating the receiver simple from the off. 

The screen quality is superb, as is the built-in Spotify and Pandora control for iPhone and Android.

What we disliked

There are a few things that we think could be improved. There’s no HD radio or HDMI which could easily have been integrated. 

We also think it would be a nice touch to feature album art when music is played, as well as having the choice to upload a custom background - as you can only choose from 6 or 7 stock images.

These are pretty small criticisms, and you may find these are of little importance to you. If so, the Sony XAV is certainly worth purchasing. 

Getting the most out of the Sony XAV AX5000

  • We recommend getting a professional to install your unit - it will save you so much time and stress.
  • You can keep your stock steering wheel controls by adding something like iDatalink Maestro, which will allow you to use your steering wheel control with the unit. It will show up your diagnostic info on the screen, as well as other useful information such as voltage and temperature gauges too.  


The Sony XAV-AX5000 is perfect for storing all of your in-car needs in one convenient and easy-to-use system. Seamlessly play music from your Apple or Android smartphone or tune into your favorite radio station.

You can also use Google Maps, and the voice command option means you’ll never have to take your eyes off the road.

 When you are able to safely look at the screen, you’ll find this one is crystal-clear with large app icons that make it especially easy to operate. While other multimedia receivers can look fussy and futuristic in their designs,

Sony sticks to their classic look with muted colors and simple font, and you know that with a name like theirs you’re always buying a quality-made product that’s as good on the inside as it is on the outside. 

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