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Old 10th January 2021, 15:13   #1
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Default Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Hi Folks,

I am planning to upgrade my head unit after 10 years (on Polo 1.6). Looking for something with Android Auto support and narrowed it down to Sony XAV-AX5500 and Pioneer DMH-Z5290BT.
Sony has the advantage of a Capacitive Touch Screen and a slimmer profile at the back.
Pioneer has a High Def screen and a bit more Indianised UI.

Want the opinion of the community:
- Any idea which one boots faster? (Very important because I still keep stalling the car )
- Is the Capacitive touchscreen really important in a Car HU or is a Resistive TS good enough?
- Audio quality? Am no great audiophile. My car does have a Rockford Fosgate Amp and a pair of Hertz ESK series Speakers in the front which has served me well. Whichever HU needs to work with the AMP and good audio quality (which I assume is going to limited by the Streaming Source (YT Music / Spotify)

Any inputs will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Last edited by Aditya : 11th January 2021 at 17:44. Reason: As requested
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Old 11th January 2021, 10:50   #2
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkashwin View Post
Sony XAV-AX500 and Pioneer DMH-5290BT.
I'll vote for Sony XAV-AX5500 one for the capacitive touchscreen and has much better sound quality compared to the Pioneer one. Also, the pre-out voltage is 5V IIRC which is better than Pioneer's. Current generation HU's boot up faster and have a lot of features in common so difficult to differentiate on general terms.

For looks etc it is Pioneer but if SQ is important then Sony it is.

Last edited by a4anurag : 11th January 2021 at 11:18.
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Old 11th January 2021, 11:06   #3
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Will vote for Sony. We had the same model installed in our 12 Year old Honda City. Touch screen was good and the reverse camera input, BT connectivity, Audio Quality, FM reception were pretty neat.
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Old 11th January 2021, 11:15   #4
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

I have compared recently and went with Pioneer to replace my creta factory unit. would be posting details soon but I am loving the sound quality

There is advanced sound equalizer and time alignment features in Pioneer which I could not find in Sony

There are two USB ports in sony which i find missing in pioneer. having a USB device plugged is a convenient option but less used when connected over Bluetooth or apple car play and android auto

Display in pioneer is Full HD vs 800 X 480 in Sony. However sony has capacitive touch but I do not think it will make a difference if you do not intend to use gestures and frequent access to screen.

I also had an option for DMH-Z6350BT with capacitive touch screen, wireless apple car play along with amazon Alexa support. At the end could not convince myself to pay almost double the price of DMH-5290BT for these features.

Last edited by vkhandelwal : 11th January 2021 at 11:30.
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Old 11th January 2021, 15:22   #5
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Thank you, folks.
Will see if I can get my hand on a demo unit for both the HUs. DMH-Z6350BT is definitely not in my league! Way too expensive!
Even am tending towards Sony.

Also, Sony does have 5v Pre-Outs while Pioneer has 4v Pre-Outs. I am assuming higher the better.
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Old 11th January 2021, 15:28   #6
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkashwin View Post
Even am tending towards Sony.

Also, Sony does have 5v Pre-Outs while Pioneer has 4v Pre-Outs. I am assuming higher the better.
Higher the pre-out voltage, better it is in terms since gains need not be set higher. Lower the gain matching, lesser noise into the sound chain.
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Old 11th January 2021, 17:06   #7
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkashwin View Post
Thank you, folks.
Will see if I can get my hand on a demo unit for both the HUs. DMH-Z6350BT is definitely not in my league! Way too expensive!
Even am tending towards Sony.

Also, Sony does have 5v Pre-Outs while Pioneer has 4v Pre-Outs. I am assuming higher the better.
Many components impact SQ and pre out is not the sole differentiator.
so better in terms of SQ would be subjective as it would depend on AMP ,cables, speakers , DAC, circuit components and the list goes on

Pioneer matched well with my infinity speakers and Sony DSP/AMP

best would be to audition both with your setup if you could.

there are more as far as features are concerned

Bluetooth version difference, - Pioneer
Screen resolution - Pioneer
Watt per channel 20 W vs 55 W ( not relevant in your case though ) - Pioneer
Video out - Pioneer
Dual Video Input - Pioneer
Dual USB - Sony
Capacitive screen - Sony
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Old 11th January 2021, 19:50   #8
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

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Originally Posted by vkhandelwal View Post

Bluetooth version difference, - Pioneer
I didn't realize there were Bluetooth differences. Can you please elaborate? Frankly both the Pioneer and Sony website are a bit thin on data
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Old 11th January 2021, 20:34   #9
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkashwin View Post
I didn't realize there were Bluetooth differences. Can you please elaborate? Frankly both the Pioneer and Sony website are a bit thin on data
well I had referred manual of both unit.
as far as I remember sony states version 3 while pioneer states it has 4
not sure how this is going to impact but BT later version improved in speed and reliability. wonder what makes these compnies not to provide version 5

for your other question about capacitive vs ressistive display. sony display is not even HD while pioneer is full HD
if the resolution and screen size were same, capacitive would have been obivious choice but not in this comparison
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Old 11th January 2021, 22:56   #10
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Default re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

I too had these 2 models short listed and went with Pioneer because it has better sound quality.

The Sony does not have separate hpf settings for the 4 speakers. You have to set all 4 together. The pre out voltage difference of 1 will not make much difference. The bass is heavier in Pioneer and overall has more tuning capabilities.

The Pioneer also has inputs for 2 cameras and iirc you can connect upto 5 phones with Bluetooth.
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Old 12th January 2021, 11:16   #11
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Default Re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkashwin View Post
Sony XAV-AX5500 and Pioneer DMH-Z5290BT.
- Is the Capacitive touchscreen really important in a Car HU or is a Resistive TS good enough?
- Audio quality?
Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkhandelwal View Post
There are two USB ports in sony
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkashwin View Post
Also, Sony does have 5v Pre-Outs while Pioneer has 4v Pre-Outs. I am assuming higher the better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by straight6 View Post
The Pioneer also has inputs for 2 cameras and iirc you can connect upto 5 phones with Bluetooth.
The only real advantage the Sony has is the dual USB ports. The difference between 4V and 5V out is pedantic. 4V is more than enough.

My choice would be the Pioneer for no other reason but that I have heard fewer complaints about Pioneer HUs over Sony.
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Old 13th January 2021, 09:58   #12
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Default Re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Have had the Pioneer DMH-Z5290BT installed in my Corolla for about 3-4 months now. Overall I've been quite happy with it.

Regarding the capacitive touch screen of the Sony....well until reading it here I did not realise my Pioneer was a resistive touch. Screen works fine for what I use it for (mainly Google maps and YouTube music app).

It's not the fastest boot time, but I plug my phone into the USB slot when I enter the car. By the time I've removed my car from parking, Android Auto has automatically come on my screen.

Music equaliser options are excellent. You can really fiddle around with audio settings if you're into that sort of thing.

I was also considering the Sony when purchasing my head-unit, but found the differences minimal, so just went with the Pioneer the shop guy recommended. No regrets.
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Old 13th January 2021, 11:40   #13
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Default Re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Hey, I believe I can give you some honest feedback on this.

I have been using the following HUs in 3 of my cars.

1. Pioneer 5190 BT on my Civic:

Good bits
1. It has good inbuilt sound amplification
2. It has good sound tuning capability inbuilt.
3. Sound output is pretty good without any additional sound amplification.

Bad bits
1. The display is borderline pathetic and it is very dim. Under direct sunlight, you cannot see anything.
2. The resistive touch is a mess. I almost stopped using the touch when driving. It distracts too much and takes out a lot of attention.



2. Sony XAV - AX 5500 on my Punto
Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units-photo20201004230654.jpg

You can install only a Headunit with a single din chassis in Punto. Hence I chose Sony XAV - AX 5500 which has a single din chassis.

Good bits
1. It is very bright and has a crystal clear display
2. Boots faster than 5190 BT
3. Touch screen is very responsive.

Bad bits
1. The sound tuning capability is poor compared to Pioneer.
2. You need dedicated sound amplification in addition to the HU. (This should not be a concern since you already have the Rockford Fosgate Amp)

Wildcard entry: Since you are looking for a HU for your Polo, I strongly recommend you to look at this:

VWs OE head unit - RCD 340

I have been using this on my Vento and the advantages are as follows.

1. Integrates neatly with the dashboard.
2. Plug and play. One single standard connector and the standard power input. It works well with the steering mounted controls and changes to day/ night mode with headlamp switch. You can also give inputs from the parking sensors and reverse camera.
3. Crystal clear display. Has a kind of mat-tint on the display. So, no glares and no visibility loss even under direct sunlight.
4. The buttons, volume control etc. feel so robust and built to last.
5. Both android auto and apple carplay works seamlessly.

Since you have additional amplification, the sound output will be fantastic and this is the best head unit your old Volkswagen could get. I believe I have the contact from whom I sourced this HU. Please DM me for more details.

A day light video


A night time video
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Old 13th January 2021, 12:58   #14
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Default Re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkhandelwal View Post

I also had an option for DMH-Z6350BT with capacitive touch screen, wireless apple car play along with amazon Alexa support. At the end could not convince myself to pay almost double the price of DMH-5290BT for these features.
I think better comparison is Sony XAV-AX7000 Vs Pioneer DMH-Z6350BT. But Sony is still 20k Cheaper in market.

I am thinking to upgrade my 2009 Honda city audio player with touchscreen. What options are better Android system or system with Android Auto/Apple Car play ? I was thinking if i get Android system it can get outdated quickly and also additional internet/Sim connection to it, Auto/Carplay system will be as good as my mobile ? Also since my car already has JL 4 channel AMP with 4 focal component speaker, a Dual channel amp with Infinity sub-woofer, i am thinking of going branded like Blaupunkt for Android, Or poineer/Sony for Android auto player.

I am thinking of Sony seeing the price difference, Any thoughts?


https://pioneer-india.in/buy/car-ent...s/dmh-z6350bt/

https://www.sony.co.in/electronics/i...ers/xav-ax7000
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Old 13th January 2021, 13:18   #15
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Default Re: Sony vs Pioneer Head-Units

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamanth View Post
I think better comparison is Sony XAV-AX7000 Vs Pioneer DMH-Z6350BT. But Sony is still 20k Cheaper in market.

I am thinking to upgrade my 2009 Honda city audio player with touchscreen. What options are better Android system or system with Android Auto/Apple Car play ? I was thinking if i get Android system it can get outdated quickly and also additional internet/Sim connection to it, Auto/Carplay system will be as good as my mobile ? Also since my car already has JL 4 channel AMP with 4 focal component speaker, a Dual channel amp with Infinity sub-woofer, i am thinking of going branded like Blaupunkt for Android, Or poineer/Sony for Android auto player.

I am thinking of Sony seeing the price difference, Any thoughts?


https://pioneer-india.in/buy/car-ent...s/dmh-z6350bt/

https://www.sony.co.in/electronics/i...ers/xav-ax7000
what price you are being quoted for XAV-AX7000? the price of pioneer
DMH-Z6350BT should be around 38K.
resolution of sony is 800X 480 while pioneer is 1920 X 1080 . both are capacitive
Pioneer supports wireless android auto and apple car play and alexa is inbuilt

I do not see mention of DSP or advanced sound tuning capabilities in Sony. It might be there in the manual but I feel they would be highlighting it if it was there

Please check.
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