Despite CarPlay and Android Auto becoming quite popular in newer vehicles, there are many of us that don’t plan on buying a new car anytime soon. Thankfully many companies have stepped up to the plate to deliver aftermarket solutions to consumers. Today’s release is far from Sony’s first attempt to bring aftermarket support for CarPlay and Android Auto to legacy vehicles, but it is however the biggest Sony CarPlay receiver has released to date.
When I bought my car, I missed the CarPlay and Android Auto boat by just one year. While I love my car, it didn’t take long for me to realize that using an iPhone in place of a clunky navigation system was the right way to go. For long road trips, I tend to use an iPad and really appreciate the larger screen size and touch targets that come along with it.
Thanks to a massive 8.95-inch screen, the new Sony CarPlay receiver leaves less of a reason than ever to use an iPad for navigation. Not only does it come close in size, it offers more convenience and versatility with support for both Android Auto and CarPlay. This means users can switch smartphones and their receiver will immediately have the most up to date recommendations ready to go.
Since it is quite large, the monstrous display of this Sony CarPlay receiver is able to be mounted in three different ways. Sony’s effort in this area is likely to pay off since it can free it up to work in many more vehicles. A total of eight buttons can be found along the bottom, providing easy access to controls for volume, playback, and voice interactions.
“As auto manufacturers increasingly incorporate larger screens into their new models, legacy car owners don’t have to miss out on the latest technology,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics North America. “Sony’s newest audio receivers feature big, vibrant displays, powerful sound and cutting-edge functionality that dramatically elevate the in-car entertainment experience.”
When made available, Sony’s new 8.95-inch CarPlay Receiver (XAV-AX8000) will be priced at $599.99. The company plans to officially launch the XAV-AX8000 during the month of December, just in time to make it on your Christmas list.
The sheer size of the new 9-inch Sony CarPlay receiver dwarfs other flagship CarPlay head units. One of the only exceptions is the Alpine Halo9 which sports a very similar price tag. While the Halo9 looks very good, I have always thought that Sony CarPlay receivers tend to be among the best looking on the market, and the XAV-AX8000, in my opinion narrowly steals the crown once again.
A lack of support for wireless CarPlay and Android Auto is one of the few negative things I can say about the latest Sony CarPlay receiver. That being said, wireless models have a tendency to cost more, which is likely why this offering is available at a price that might just push me over the edge.