Installed a Sony XAV-AX100 in my truck

Discussion in 'Audio & Electronics' started by brantlmcdonald, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. brantlmcdonald

    brantlmcdonald Member

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    I’d been looking at various stereos to replace my 5.0 factory stereo with.... finally decided on this AX-100 unit.

    [​IMG]

    It took right at an hour to install. I did not have to cut the factory bracket, as the single-din chassis slid right into the opening in the bracket.

    I ordered it from crutchfield; the stereo was $328, and with the harness, double din kit, and USB port, I spent about $420..... edit to add; there was also an antenna adapter, and I paid extra for quick shipping so I would have it to install last night. So probably would’ve been about $390 with the free shipping.

    Some other notes: the harness came with a small speaker for chimes, but I still have factory door chimes. I’m not sure but I think maybe the reverse warning sensor is coming through that speaker.

    I disabled the reverse guidelines on the Sony unit as I still have the factory reverse guidelines overlaid on the screen. I’m also very happy with the reverse camera image quality. I was worried the image quality wouldn’t be great once the image was displayed on the larger screen, but I would say it is excellent.

    The sound quality, compared to the factory radio, is much better. I’m actually surprised at just how much better the factory speakers sound with this unit.

    Maps switch from day to night mode based on the headlights being off or on; that’s nice.

    I was able to get the external microphone cable routed to the top of my A-pillar without removing the pillar; I peeled back the door seal and got the cable just up under the edge of the pillar. You can’t see the cable at all. The call quality through CarPlay is much, much better than the uconnect Bluetooth.

    I ordered a USB port with a 5’ cable and installed it in place of the 12v outlet. I used the factory housing with the lid; it’s not perfect as it doesn’t quite lock in to that hole, so I will need to glue it down. I’m still thinking about routing it to my jump seat console.

    The only thing I would complain about is the stiffness of the volume knob; it’s not easy to get your fingers around it so you have to roll your fingers around the edge of it. It’d be easier if it weren’t quite so stiff.


    Some other issues not related to this radio; the SiriusXM app is bad, and Pandora is bad. They sometimes fail to load. I may regret not getting the AX-200 with an XM tuner, but I’ve got 30 days to think that over. The sound quality through the XM app is so much better than the compressed XM tuner though so maybe I can learn to live with it. I’ve been an XM subscriber since 2005, and it’s not something I want to give up. I spend a lot of time in my truck traveling around to various job sites, and it’s what I mostly listen to.

    Also, the fit of the double din kit isn’t perfect. There is a slight gap at the bottom and while it’s not easily noticeable, it bothers me.

    Other than that, this seems to be an excellent stereo. One other feature I like is that you can turn the screen off while the unit is on.


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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  2. 17CrewCab1500

    17CrewCab1500 Senior Member

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    Looks good! Nice info!
     
  3. brantlmcdonald

    brantlmcdonald Member

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    Thanks! These were all questions I had myself about it that I was unable to find answers to online, so I hope it will be useful info to someone else.


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  4. brantlmcdonald

    brantlmcdonald Member

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    The other two stereos I considered were the Alpine W650 and F259.

    I went with this because I figured if alpine is selling an external amp to go with the W650, it must be underpowered, and buying that amp would push the cost up another $200 I think. And as for the F259; the larger screen would’ve been nice, but I decided I didn’t want something that protruded out from the dash. Everything I’d read about the Sony units indicated the sound quality from them is excellent.


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  5. Michael

    Michael Senior Member

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    Nice write up. What USB port did you get? Can you turn off the radio before you turn off your truck and have it still turned off when you start the truck back up?
     
  6. brantlmcdonald

    brantlmcdonald Member

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    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_541USBDMA6/PAC-USBDMA6.html


    Yes. It seems to return to whatever state you left it in.




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  7. blackbetty14

    blackbetty14 Senior Member

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    Looks good! I have the same radio I installed in my firebird last summer... works great! The Apple car play is seamless as well.

    Only annoying part is the power up screen has the warning screen that pops up that you have to click to continue. There is a firmware hack that bypasses it but the possibility of you bricking the unit.

    Don’t forget you can put your own background :)

    72D36DE8-845A-4E46-8293-ECBDBF81DF1E.jpeg
     
  8. blackbetty14

    blackbetty14 Senior Member

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    Also I have zero issues using my phone via carplay on the XM app and it works great. I control via the headunit but using my phone as the antenna. I have had no issues and not one time did it fail to load.
     
  9. Michael

    Michael Senior Member

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    Any plans to replace your speakers? I have the stock 5.0 and I want to replace my head unit too. I’ve already replaced the 6 speakers in my truck with JBL Club series and they made a huge difference. Now I wonder how much better the sound will be with a quality head unit over the crappy oem one.
     
  10. brantlmcdonald

    brantlmcdonald Member

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    I see there is a firmware update available that says it “improves CarPlay functionality.” I’ll try that and see if anything changes.



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