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Old 14th July 2020, 11:05   #1
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Default Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

SONY XAV AX7000

The Sony XAV-AX7000 has been launched in India a little time ago. I have installed this head unit in my Honda City and here is a brief review of the unit.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_232303.jpg

Features:
  • 6.95" Capacitive Touch Display
  • Minimal and clean interface
  • 4x45W RMS power (100Wx4 max) with built in class D amplifier
  • Single din chassis
  • Wired Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
  • 5V pre-amp output (5 channel)

I had been using an Android HU with a 10.1inch display, and I was fed up of the sound quality. The Sony has a great 5V output which in turn keeps the gains low on the amplifier.

It also has a mega class D amp built in which can even power a subwoofer. It greatly reduces the need for an external amplifier.

Apart from these features the unit is the same as the Sony XAV AX5000.

If you do not want to upgrade your factory speakers, then this unit is not for you, it would be better to get the cheaper 5000 version, because this will definitely fry your speakers.

Fitting/Looks:

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231310.jpg
Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231319.jpg

Fits neatly into a double din slot. Just the bottom buttons stick out. A volume knob will be sorely missed.
It has buttons for Home(Standby), Volume, Option (Attenuate), Prev/Next, Voice in that particular order.
The display in anti-glare and holds really well in direct light pointed at it.
Even though it has a single din chassis, it is strictly for a double din slot. The chassis just makes the installation easier.

Interface:

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231303.jpg
Android Auto

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231850.jpg
Apple CarPlay

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231339.jpg
Home Screen when an Android Device is connected. The HU recognises the device and then automatically shows AA/CarPlay based on the phone.
There are 5 preset wallpapers, and you can save your own image using a USB stick.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231827.jpg
Home screen when an iPhone is connected.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231429.jpg
FM radio screen. It has 3 bands of FM and 2 bands of AM. Upto 18 frequencies can be saved. Has RDS to display basic text information. Using auto scan or BTM (Best Tuning Memory) as Sony likes to call it, is also an option.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231622.jpg
Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231613.jpg

Phone menu with Contacts and Dialer displayed.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_232322.jpg

Bluetooth Microphone.

Call quality on this unit is great with the included Bluetooth Microphone. The calls sound natural and the other party had no problem recognising the speaker's voice. Call volume can be set to be different from the volume of the HU.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231518.jpg

Bluetooth streaming.

Displays Song name, artist and album. No album art is displayed. Bluetooth pairing takes no time and has no codes. After start up, it takes upto 30 seconds to connect to the phone. Streaming quality is up to par, none of that android stupidity.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231721.jpg
Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231737.jpg

Sound settings:

Features a 10 band eq with many presets and a custom. Subwoofer level can be controlled with this unit and can be turned off. There is Extra Bass of levels off, 1 and 2. The music didn't sound boomy or distorted even at high volumes.

Audio quality is leagues ahead of all the Androids in the world. There is no static, hissing or noise in the pre-outs. A large volume control with increments of 50 levels is present.

Reverse Camera:

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_231346.jpg

Reverse camera input is a RCA video jack. Reverse trigger is present in the wiring harness of the HU.
The camera can be activated while driving if it is powered. Camera quality is good but it also depends on the camera present in the vehicle.

Cons:
  • No AV input
  • No Video Output
  • No AUX in (is this even a con?)
  • Fit and finish is not as perfect as Android HUs

Verdict:

A fantastic HU for audiophiles. The USP of this HU is audio quality. Coming from Sony, this unit also has a great reliability factor. There is a 3 year warranty on the unit. The interface is fast and responsive. Minimal design looks good on any car. The display is anti-glare and does not easily catch fingerprints.

Coming to my personal views, I was using an Android HU and I definitely miss the large 10.1 inch display and the functionality coming with it. I have lost OBD scanning, video apps, and many such features. But what good is all that when the output sounds like crap? After driving around with this, I also realised that you don't need all those distractions while driving. This is a quality product and will hold the test of time.

Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_232012.jpg
Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-20200713_232127.jpg
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Old 14th July 2020, 13:11   #2
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Default re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Great review! I was considering this at one point of time, I eventually went for the Pioneer AVIC-F80BT.

I've seen terrible mic quality on Blaupunkts, I realised that it's a major decision making factor for me for an HU.
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Old 15th July 2020, 14:21   #3
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Looks nice.

1) Cost of the HU ?
2) Honda told me that if i didn't purchase HU from them , they wont entertain warranty of my amaze. Did you ever encounter such foolish comment from honda ?
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Old 15th July 2020, 16:10   #4
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajat347 View Post
Looks nice. Honda told me that if I didn't purchase HU from them, they won't entertain the warranty of my amaze. Did you ever encounter such foolish comment from honda?
Hi Rajat347, let me answer the question for you (if I may by hijacking City2491's thread)

This comment made by the dealership may or may not be foolish depending on the age of the car.

1. If your car is in warranty period and you wanted to get the HU (Non-Honda) from a Non-Honda Authorized Accessories shop, they will not entertain your warranty since it involves tampering with the electrical system. Atleast that's what the company says but I've read it on this forum and elsewhere that dealers do sometimes entertain warranties even though modifications have been carried out.

2. If your car is not in the warranty, then the dealer is just trying to fleece. There is no chance of a warranty void since you don't even have warranty ! If this is the case you are free to go ahead and do any number of modifications you want to do on your car.
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Old 15th July 2020, 16:33   #5
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Actually My car is still in warranty.
While taking the delivery 2 years before, Honda said that u must purchase accessories including seat covers from us.
1) Seat covers for Rs 11,000 and they were super inferior in quality and fitting.
2) They only had casca stereo for Rs 35,000. That was totally out of scope for me.

They said we will not entertain warranty. With God's grace I never required any help from honda apart from 3 services but did't upgrade my stereo either.
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Old 15th July 2020, 19:00   #6
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

City2491, Sony does improve the sound quality tremendously. How did you go about getting the harness and wiring? I tried to install a AX5000 in my Jazz but changed back to the original HU since I couldn't connect the reverse camera and radio without proper harnesses. I couldn't source them and the pandemic didn't help either.
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Old 15th July 2020, 19:25   #7
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajat347 View Post
Actually My car is still in warranty.
They said we will not entertain warranty. With God's grace I never required any help from honda apart from 3 services but did't upgrade my stereo either.
First of all, (if I may), please change your dealer. He's just trying to make money. My car has aftermarket everything and they still honored my warranty, until it existed at least. They're also luring me into taking any time warranty.

Seat covers are the stupidest reason they could have denied warranty for. Best you can do is don't cut any wires and use proper harnesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Av8r View Post
City2491, Sony does improve the sound quality tremendously. How did you go about getting the harness and wiring? I tried to install a AX5000 in my Jazz but changed back to the original HU since I couldn't connect the reverse camera and radio without proper harnesses. I couldn't source them and the pandemic didn't help either.
Harness and wiring was provided with the dealer who sold me the deck. There is a proper harness available in the market for power, antenna and steering wheel control.
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Old 16th July 2020, 13:00   #8
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Thanks for sharing buddy, I have been looking at options to upgrade the stock HU on my Rapid and needed something that supports Android Auto / Apple Carplay. Not a fan of the Android Hus. I am quite particular about the sound quality and your thoughts just added one more option to my shortlist. Bonus: helps avoid the need for a separate amplifier

Was looking at BP Philadelphia 845 since that is close to the OE HU's in the higher variants and was almost closing on it but the availability has been an issue. In addition, the dealer tries to throw those spikes on warranty T&C's. I believe any modification with a proper harness solves the purpose and my dependency on the dealer is reduced!

I have had no issues with Fiat & Ford, but Skoda is acing in terms of creating a chaotic situation for the customers!

Quick question – Do you think the stock speakers cant handle the load of this HU? I’m keen on this to get it on my Rapid after reading your review…
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Old 16th July 2020, 14:25   #9
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabrish View Post
Quick question – Do you think the stock speakers cant handle the load of this HU? I’m keen on this to get it on my Rapid after reading your review…
In my opinion the stock speakers can handle the load of BP Philadelphia 845.

I have recently fitted BP Long beach 970 on my Tata Tigor which comes with 4 speakers + 2 tweeters and there was no need to change the OEM speaker setup.
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Old 16th July 2020, 14:32   #10
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Fantastic review. My only gripe with the Sony headunits (XAV series - 1000, 5000 and 7000) is that their interface is still not right hand drive oriented. IIRC the unit with physical knob had the knob located on left side. and the knob agnostic unit like the 7000 still has the home button etc. in apple carplay interface located on left side. Request the owners to check if there is any setting in system menu to change the same.

Last edited by roamer012 : 16th July 2020 at 14:51.
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Old 16th July 2020, 14:45   #11
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
In my opinion the stock speakers can handle the load of BP Philadelphia 845.

I have recently fitted BP Long beach 970 on my Tata Tigor which comes with 4 speakers + 2 tweeters and there was no need to change the OEM speaker setup.
Thanks sir, I was referring to the Sony HU since I read in his post that the stock speakers could not handle the output..was curious to understand more details and if the ones in Skoda would do any better...
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Old 16th July 2020, 14:57   #12
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabrish View Post
Quick question – Do you think the stock speakers cant handle the load of this HU?
Won't be an issue at all. You can get this HU without worrying about the OEM speakers.

I think the OEM speakers would be rated at 25-30W @ 4 ohms.
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Old 16th July 2020, 15:11   #13
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabrish View Post

Quick question – Do you think the stock speakers cant handle the load of this HU? I’m keen on this to get it on my Rapid after reading your review…
There is no issue as such, but if you're not changing speakers, I'd suggest go for the XAV AX-5000. It is basically the same thing, and would handle stock speakers just as well. It would also be cheaper to buy.
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Old 16th July 2020, 15:11   #14
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Very nice review. I have a similar City (mine is SV though) and I was getting fed up of the stock head unit. It felt quite basic and didn't have any features apart from Bluetooth. I didn't want an Android headunit because most of them are poor quality plus I'm an iPhone user so Apple CarPlay was a must for me.

Considered a lot of headunits and finally got the Blaupunkt New York 750. It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with PhoneLink connectivity. With this I also got a reverse camera but Blaupunkt provided me with one that would fit only in the bumper and I would have to drill a hole for it. So I swapped it for another one which has been fitted near the number plate.

The sound quality from the stock speakers has improved but I'm still not 100% satisfied so I'll get new speakers in a few weeks. My car doesn't have tweeters. As for the headunit, it is a great upgrade over the stock one and no wires were cut too. I have driven my car just a couple of times after getting it fitted so I'll share a detailed review in a few days once I check out all the features properly. I really miss the volume control knob though.
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Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit-d25f8cf61e494d48b2c0b9a006e98283.jpg  

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Old 16th July 2020, 17:20   #15
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Default Re: Review: Sony XAV-AX7000 Head Unit

Does your front parking cam that you installed previously work with this head unit?

The 45.5 amp seems pretty capable going by what you said, but especially in a single DIN chassis, I don't reckon it's going to that good.
How much amplification can you really put in a head unit, especially in a SINGLE DIN chassis.

It would always be recommended to use a standalone amp.

Also, what are the 5 channels for specifically,
I've only heard of 6 channels till now 2 front 2 back and 2sub
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