Sony Introduces New Aftermarket CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free Systems

Sony today introduced its new XAV-AX200 in-car audio receiver, which doubles as an aftermarket CarPlay system.

The double-DIN XAV-AX200 has a 6.4-inch touchscreen, but Sony didn't specify if its capacitive, or resistive like its XAV-AX100 predecessor.


Other key features include both CarPlay and Android Auto support, Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility, a built-in four-channel amplifier, three external camera inputs, and a built-in DVD player.

Sony also unveiled a MEX-GS820BT receiver that can pair with two smartphones at once via Bluetooth. It doesn't appear to support CarPlay, but it does feature Siri Eyes Free, and similar voice controls on Android smartphones. Sony said the unit has a high-contrast vertical-alignment LCD of an unspecified size.

Siri Eyes Free helps minimize driver distraction with Siri voice recognition, allowing drivers to interact with an iPhone 4s or later without needing to look at the in-dash screen. The feature can be used to make calls, play music, hear and compose text messages, read notifications, use Apple Maps, and more.

Sony said the XAV-AX200 and MEX-GS820BT will be available across North America by the end of the year. Pricing wasn't disclosed. The older XAV-AX100 generally retails for between $499 and $549 in the United States.

Other aftermarket CarPlay systems are available from Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood, JBL, JVC, Pioneer, Sony, and other manufacturers.

Related Roundup: CarPlay


Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago

What makes Etune crap?


The fact that Toyota steadfastly refuses to support CarPlay or Android Auto are a good start.

For one of the world's most innovative auto makers, they're being shockingly pigheaded about the future.
Rating: 6 Votes
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13 months ago
I just recently installed the XAV-AX100 in my '17 Camry, and I absolutely love it. It is far better than the Entune crape that Toyota installs from the factory.
Rating: 4 Votes
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13 months ago

I just recently installed the XAV-AX100 in my '17 Camry, and I absolutely love it. It is far better than the Entune crape that Toyota installs from the factory.

Yeah!

I was testing XAV-AX100 and just as you said, one of the most affordable and capable aftermarket CarPlay units.
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 months ago

Would kill for a single-DIN unit...


Given the average price point for CarPlay decks is around $500+ im reminded of one of the reasons why I opted for a 7+.

My phone is literally mounted next to my car deck and user experience wise there is a very small list of what CarPlay is able to do over a stand alone iPhone.

Get a quality single din deck with Bluetooth or a USB input, direct audio connection + charging, turn on "hey Siri", obviously a non obtrusive car phone mount system and you arguably have a more functional and affordable set up.

Of course I'm coming from the perspective of having a car that doesn't have CarPlay already factory installed .
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I put a double DIN Pioneer unit in my 2005 Mustang about a month ago. I did quite a bit of research and was very impressed by what Pioneer offered. It is not CarPlay, but it is CarPlay compatible. It does connect via Bluetooth to the iPhone, uses a wired microphone for talking and Siri use, which I wired to the upper section of the driver's side of the car. You can also connect via USB in order to use Pioneer's apps, though weak as they are. I would use it for the GPS functionality only. Bluetooth music plays very well from the phone. I am not sure that CarPlay does anything any differently than these other offerings.

My unit is the Pioneer AVH-X5800BHS DVD Receiver which is showing as no longer available at Crutchfield.


I have a very similar set up.

I agree the pioneer apps are mostly crap and it could just be the Pioneer OS(app play?) but apps are slow to launch.

My set up is basically:


* Phone mount next to car deck screen
* Connected through usb(hard connection for Audio, Bluetooth also connected for phone calls)
* Navigation is usually running on my 7 plus
* Whatever audio I have playing is displayed on my deck


Cons(compared):

* 2 interfaces instead of 1
* General user interface over all isn't as sleek as CarPlay

Pros:

* Can run apps not supported by CarPlay
* Always viewable media controls and phone/app controls
* A few hundred dollars less than CarPlay
* Almost all of the features of CarPlay without installing a CarPlay deck
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 months ago
Once your car drives itself, who cares? Bring whatever device you want and just use that.

Expecting my Model 3 sometime between January and March. Not sure how long after that to wait for Full Self Driving... :-/
Rating: 1 Votes
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13 months ago
I have the xav-100 and it is superb. I'm very happy with it replacing a kenwood that was s l o w.
Rating: 1 Votes
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13 months ago

What makes Etune crap?

Go back and read any Macrumors thread about CarPlay and Siri from the last few years. People complaining about limited number of apps available to use in CarPlay (and GooglePlay but that seldom is mentioned) and voice commands not working very well and they have to use Apple Maps and can't use Google or Waze or whatever... now imagine finding out that this system, this flawed unusable system, is 10,000 times better than Entune. You can't use anybody's map app. If you want navigation, you use Toyotas built in system, which is DVD based. Want/need an update for your maps? That'll be $400.00 dollars. And the number of apps you can use is up to what, six? seven? And the voice recognition is second to everyone. I use to amuse people trying to ask for 'nearest gas station' and have it tell me that it can't find that radio station. I'm not saying that CarPlay doesn't have problems, it does, at least the rental I had a few months ago still did, but it was nothing compared to the utter uselessness of Entune. I haven't noticed them promoting Entune for a few years on TV or radio ads, but a friend said it was still the only 'entertainment' system available on Toyota brand cars.
Rating: 1 Votes
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13 months ago

You need the top trim lines to even get nav from Toyota. Plus it's dated ('https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/videos/deep-dive-looking-at-toyotas-entune-system/'). My wife just connects her phone via USB and uses the Android Auto app through her S8. Apple should really create a CarPlay app for people with older cars. Get people used to having it and they'll want it on their next car.


The reason I asked why is I was considering the Camry XLE (Last choice amongst other cars I was looking at) and Etune seems to be not favored my many. Reading through this thread and others, the results are not very favorable with Entune for reasons you stated and [USER=100940]@EdT[/USER] made some valid points as well.

Ultimately, I upgraded to the new Ford Taurus SHO, which has Sync 3 and I couldn't be happier with my choice. (And the twin turbo power is exhilarating!)
Rating: 1 Votes
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13 months ago

What makes Etune crap?

You need the top trim lines to even get nav from Toyota. Plus it's dated ('https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/videos/deep-dive-looking-at-toyotas-entune-system/'). My wife just connects her phone via USB and uses the Android Auto app through her S8. Apple should really create a CarPlay app for people with older cars. Get people used to having it and they'll want it on their next car.
Rating: 1 Votes
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13 months ago

wireless? I assume not or they'd call it out but the article doesn't say.

Given the price point, I'd say you are correct. That Alpine unit with wireless CP retails for $900.
Rating: 1 Votes
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