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Sony Adds XAV-AX200 & MEX-GS820BT Head Units

Touts improved phone control and GUI 8/14/2017 12:15:00 PM Eastern

Sony Electronics has unveiled two new in-car audio systems with improved smartphone connectivity and a more user-friendly interface.

Like its predecessor, the XAV-AX200 is a DVD receiver with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, allowing integration with Apple and Android smartphones and the 6.4-inch touchscreen display and controls. It features a DVD player, is SiriusXM ready, and has an external three-camera input. This last feature enables passengers to view a selected image among three connected cameras (one reverse view and two manually chosen cameras). A high-voltage pre-out lessens distortion with the built-in four-channel 55-watt amplifier.

Audio features include a dynamic stage organizer to create ambient sound as if there were speakers on the dashboard. A 10-band equalizer with 10 presets provides easy frequency adjustment for various listening environments. It also has FLAC audio compatibility via USB.

A configurable steerin- wheel remote input covers general command protocol, so no adaptors are necessary for signal conversion between steering wheel and the head unit.

The second unit, the MEX-GS820BT, features top-of-the-line audio technology, including a built-in 100-watt by 4 class-D amp, digital signal processing and a dynamic stage organizer.

Interactivity features include dual Bluetooth connection with one-touch NFC pairing so both passenger and driver can be connected at once; voice control on Android phones; and Siri Eyes Free for iPhones.

The system expands to accommodate Sony XB-series speakers. It is SiriusXM-ready and has a 5-volt pre-out and AOA 2.0 compatible dual USB terminals. The steering-wheel input is also configurable.

Vehicle owners can choose the illumination color of the display from up to 35,000 variations to match in-car decor with the Dynamic Color Illuminator, which allows users to set display color separately from that for key illuminations. Sony's beat-sensing technology enables the LED to change color, pulsing optimally to either sound pressure or backbeat of the music.

The XAV-AX200 and MEX-GS820BT will be available across North America by the end of the year. Pricing was not disclosed.

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