If you have a slightly older car model that doesn’t come with those built-in infotainment systems yet and you have no plans to upgrade anytime soon, there are still some options available for you to be able to get a smart system into your vehicle. And if you need one that has a huge screen, then the Sony XAV-AX8000 Media Receiver might be the one for you. It supports Android Auto and WebLink Cast platforms (and Apple CarPlay too if that’s your thing) and it has an almost 9” touchscreen display for your viewing needs.
The “supersized touchscreen head unit” can actually fit right into the single-DIN space on your dashboard so you don’t need to have your car retrofitted to be able to accommodate an infotainment system. When you “unfurl” it, you get an 8.95-inch touchscreen which can still fit into those radio system bays that older cars have. The screen comes with a 4-channel amplifier that can power 55 watts per channel or 20 watts with DRA2 power IC.
It also has a 10-band aqualizer with presets, EXTRA BASS technology, and three 5-volt pre-outs in case you want to add subwoofers and extra speakers to make your car a mobile audio showcase. You can also add a reversing camera and it is FLAC compatible. It comes with a remote control and a microphone so that if you pair it with your phone, you can use voice commands to navigate its features or to ask questions while driving. There are also physical shortcut buttons on the bottom of the screen to navigate volume and track controls.
The Media Receiver is a perfect device for cars that were released before all these factory-fit infotainment systems became the much-wanted feature. While you can still use your smartphone safely while driving through accessories like the Anker Roav Bolt or the Assistant Driving Mode that Google is releasing soon, it’s still more useful to have a head unit and one with a huge screen that will hopefully not become a distraction.
Sony’s XAV-AX8000 Media Receiver will start shipping in December. You will have to shell out $599.99 but that’s still way cheaper than having to upgrade your car.