A Closer Look at Sony XAV-AX150, the Affordable Android Auto and CarPlay Head Unit

Android Auto and CarPlay have become must-have features for the modern driver, and while most new cars come with them as standard equipment, anyone can get both on an older vehicle as well.
Sony XAV-AX150 6 photos
Photo: Sony
Sony XAV-AX150Sony XAV-AX150Sony XAV-AX150Sony XAV-AX150Sony XAV-AX150
All it takes is an aftermarket head unit upgrade, and right now, there are so many models out there it’s impossible not to find one that perfectly fits your dashboard.

Sony is one of the companies that have a wide range of media receivers with support for CarPlay and Android Auto, and in most cases, they come with large touchscreens that clearly bring a new-gen touch to all cars out there.

On the other hand, not everybody is willing to spend a thousand bucks on an aftermarket head unit just to get Android Auto and CarPlay. And that’s why Sony’s XAV-AX150 is just the perfect choice.

Launched earlier this year, XAV-AX150 is a pretty compelling head unit that brings the essential feature package, a large touchscreen display, and an affordable price under the same roof.

Sony XAV\-AX150
Photo: Sony
Let’s start by answering the question on everyone’s lips: will it fit my vehicle?

Sony has tried to make the XAV-AX150 as easy to install as possible, so the double-DIN display is mounted on a rear chassis with a small design in the back. In other words, despite using a double-DIN display, its actual chassis design is smaller, and this means it’s a lot easier to install because it leaves more room for cables in the back.

This head unit tips the scales at 1.1 kilos and comes with a 6.95-inch TFT display with a resolution of 800x480 pixels. While at first glance it’s not the best resolution you could ask for, it’s still pretty good for a car screen, especially given the $250 price tag. The 17:9 screen ratio makes it just perfect for navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.

If you’re here for the music capabilities of this media receiver, the XAV-AX150 has the essential package. It offers 55Wx4 output with 3 pre-outs, a 10-band graphic equalizer, and extra-bass support. A wireless experience is also offered thanks to Bluetooth support, but a USB port is also included should you want to listen to the music you have on a flash drive, for example.

Sony XAV\-AX150
Photo: Sony
Now let’s move to the Android Auto and CarPlay part.

As said, this Sony head unit comes with support for both these systems, and of course, it only allows for wired connections. This is why there’s also a USB port in the front panel, so you can easily connect your smartphone to run Android Auto and CarPlay.

The XAV-AX150 also comes with all kinds of extras, including support for a parking camera, so you can see live images when going in reverse, as well as with FLAC compatibility to play lossless audio files.

But what makes the XAV-AX150 a really good choice is the price. Available for approximately $250 (or even lower if you’re lucky enough and find the right retailer), this media receiver is one of the cheapest ways to get Android Auto and CarPlay into a very convenient form factor.

Sony XAV\-AX150
Photo: Sony
Of course, there are plenty of even more affordable media receivers out there, but in many cases, they come with more or less critical shortcomings that eventually don’t make much sense.

If you’re thinking of going for a no-name device coming from China, there’s a good chance you lose the update support. Sony XAV-AX150, on the other hand, is likely to receive several firmware updates, and we all know how important these are in the short term.

So at the end of the day, if you’re in the market looking for a cheap way to get Android Auto and CarPlay, do yourselves a favor and check out the XAV-AX150. Black Friday is coming, so who knows, maybe you’ll get it even cheaper than the standard price tag.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories