Sony XAV-AX5000 vs. AX7000 vs. AX8000: Choose the best head unit for your road trip

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If you’re a Sony diehard, then you might have come across some of their best digital receivers; the AX5000, AX7000 and AX8000. If you haven’t, then this is your great first moment.

There’s so much to talk about these three receivers, yet so little to tell them apart. This article shows the distinctive features of each, their similarities and differences, and how their differences make each a better choice above the other.

Do we share the same views? Feel free to reach out.

SONY XAV AX5000 vs. AX7000 vs. AX8000: Comparision chart

Below comes with an overview of three head unit in XAV product line of Sony: AX5000, AX7000, and AX8000.

 ax5000
XAV AX5000
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ax7000
XAV AX7000
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ax8000
XAV AX8000
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Customer Rating
4.5
4.3
4.5
Pricesc1280 pricesc1281 pricesc1285 price
Size6.95'' (Fixed)6.95'' (Fixed)8.95'' (Adjustable)
Dimension7.01'' x 3.94'' x 5.47''7.17” x 4.37” x 6.30”9.02 x 5.35 x 9.96"
Audio55W x 4 channel100W x 4 channel55W x 4 channel
Apple Carplay
Android Auto
Equalizer10-band10-band10-band
Brightness500 cd/m2500 cd/m2500 cd/m2
Contrast ratio400600500
Resolution800x480800x480800x480
LCD typeTFT Active Matrix/Capacitive TouchTFT Active MatrixTFT Active Matrix
Touch screenCapacitiveCapacitive (w/ Anti-glare film)Resistive
ConfigurationDouble DINDouble DINSingle DIN (w/ LCD screen)
Steering Wheel ControlsRequires Axess ASWC-1 InterfaceHarness IncludedHarness Included
Weblink compatibility
USB inputsDual Rear PigtailsDual Rear PigtailsOne port
RCA Pre-Amp Voltage2 volts5 volts5 volts
TomTom NavigationReady with the XA-NV400
Sony quick wake-up
PROS+ The screen is bright, clear, and more responsive than in ordinary receivers
+ Excellent sound quality
+ Bright bezel-less display
+ Snappy and quick response device
+ The screen is waterproof, making the device suitable for bikers
+ Easy to install
+ The large screen displays vivid colors
+ The stereo offers an easy-to-use streamlined interface
CONS- It takes a long to install
- No volume knob
- Lacks AUX and HD Radio inputs
- No volume knob
- The screen is hard to use under bright sunlight.
My score9.79.09.0

Key things in common

Let’s start by highlighting the fundamental similarities of these three audio receivers to kick off on the right foot.

Built-in Apple Carplay and Android Auto

The Sony XAV AX-5000, AX-7000, and AX-8000 all offer Apple Carplay and Android Auto connections, all via USB and Bluetooth. The XAV AX-5000 and AX7000, for instance, offer dual USB ports for connecting your phone and a separate USB device of your choice, while the AX8000 has a single USB connection mode. However, you can add that extra device via the Bluetooth connection.

Equalizer (EQ)

In most instances, graphic equalizers usually divide stereo sounds between 6-31 frequency bands while providing a virtual or physical slider to control each band’s volume. A 10-band graphic equalizer, like in our case, has its center frequencies being an octave apart, allowing for easy boosting and cutting of sound signals from the receiver. Sony has developed a 10-band graphic equalizer on the three stereo receivers to help you catch quality music. What’s better than controlling how your music sounds when you’re hitting the road? Nothing.

Screen resolution

Most people tend to ignore screen resolutions, maybe because they don’t see it as an integral part of their screens. The truth is that it dramatically affects how you see texts and images. By that, you’ll have an easy time scrolling around the stereo. Sony has installed a screen resolution of 800×480 on all three screens in this review, considerably high quality concerning the screens’ sizes.

All three stereo receivers don’t have a disc slot but come with white button illumination.

Camera input

Each of the three receivers has a single camera output. If you have your rear camera already installed, you can view its feed from the monitor. The screen comes with guidelines on how to customize the feed viewing.

Sony XAV AX5000 vs. AX7000 vs. AX8000: Key differences

Here are some aspects where the three receivers show significant differences in structure and performance. Check them out.

Audio

AX5000 comes with a Reality Amp 2 that offers a 4×55W power, letting you play music softly or loudly as you wish. The amp, moreover, has less internal resistance (about 47%) than other conventional units, offering increased and more precise output, with natural sound at whichever volume you play. And the AX8000 shares the same power as AX5000 – 55W, which sounds great at high volumes. Moreover, you can customize the audio to your liking.

On the other hand, the AX7000 has an inbuilt class-D amplifier that delivers huge power loads (4×100W) with minor interference. As a result, you get crystal clear audio even at the loudest volume. This receiver is optimized for maximum music experience, as the power it produces is enough to operate a separate subwoofer.

Configuration and size

The AX5000 has a bezel-less ultra-slim 6.95″ display channel that fits perfectly on your dash and seamlessly blends with your car’s interior. The screen’s size is large enough to bring up pretty much all the information you need on Maps, playlists, and phone controls in a glance. The AX5000 spots a double-DIN configuration and an unadjustable mount.

The 6.95″ display on the AX7000 is virtually the same size as the one you get on the AX5000. These two strike-numerous physical and operational similarities, but the one on the AX7000 carries the day from its numerous advancements like the anti-glare design for improved daylight viewing. Like the AX5000, this receiver has a double-DIN setup configuration, as well.

Besides, the AX8000 has the largest screen of these three receivers, with its size ranging around 8.95″. You’re able to see every detail at a glance, and thus operating your maps or music playlist is made more accessible. Moreover, the screen is more interactive and intuitive and comes with a single DIN configuration and a 3-point adjustment mount to enable you to place it in your area of convenience.

Touch screen type and brightness

The display of the AX5000 is a simple TFT Matrix/TFT Active Matrix/Capacitive Touchscreen. With a brightness of 500 cd/m2, you can comfortably view the screen in high brightness or low light. Moreover, colors appear punchy and vivid, owing to the screen’s contrast ratio of 400.

The AX7000 comes with a TFT Matrix display, with a brightness of 500 cd/m2 that makes the screen even more comfortable to look at than on the AX5000. Its contrast ratio of 600 makes colors more defined and easy to see and operate. Additionally, the screen comes with an anti-glare film that eases using the screen under direct bright light.

The AX8000 rocks a TFT Matrix display screen with a brightness of 400cd/m2, a little less bright than the AX5000 and AX7000. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t operate the screen under bright light. Besides, it has an AG clear resistive strip that allows for better viewing.

Price differential

You’ll probably want to check on the price tag of each of the receivers, considering that they have much in common with little to each on differences. However, the AX5000 is the most affordable option of the three. The AX7000 and AX8000 all have relatively higher price tags, owing to their more advanced features. Otherwise, one may feel like the receivers are slightly overpriced.

Which one should you buy?

From the look at the different specs each receiver displays, it is fair to the first state that all three items are of outstanding quality. However, even when every item is excellent, one has to settle for a single option, so there’s always a choice to make. Here’s a quick summary of the vital bargain points of each item, which can help you make the final decision.

If you want the best, take AX5000

SonyXAV-AX5000
Sony XAV-AX5000
4.5
This AX5000 is for the driver who wants an easy-to-use stereo system, offering a hands-free mode and the ability to access other essential features while driving.

The AX5000 is the best overall choice of the three. It offers a package of the most basic features you’d necessarily expect from a car stereo receiver, bundling it up with the fair price that it comes with. Its relatively smaller size may be a choice for many who doesn’t need a big screen on their dash.

Everything on this receiver is above standard, with the main requirement being its ability to connect to Apple Carplay and Android Auto connection. The sound quality is excellent, but not better than the one on the AX7000. The AX5000 is also equipped with the TomTom Navigation service.

Its main downsides might be the lack of compatibility with Weblink and Sony quick wake-up. It also requires ASWC-1 access for steering wheel compatibility, unlike the AX7000 and 8000, which is not something you can’t access.

With the affordable price, AX5000 is equipped with all amazing features.

If you want a big screen head unit, AX8000 will be your choice

SonyXAV-AX8000
Sony XAV-AX8000
4.5
AX8000 is the latest head unit in this product line with the adjustable screen. This head unit will suits your audio system with the high-quality outputs.

For the big screen lovers, the AX8000 is your ultimate choice. The 8.95-inch touchscreen is designed to fit into ISO-mounts (Single-DIN and Double-DIN radio mounts).

However, Sony has made the AX8000 one of the most flexible receiver screens you can get in the market. First, you can tilt the adjustable screen forward within a 10-degree margin. Moreover, the screen can be adjusted vertically within a 2.36-inch margin to prevent the blocking of controls and air vents. You can also move the screen 2.36 inches from the radio chassis to clear off dash obstructions. Isn’t that flexible enough?

Nonetheless, it feels great when you can get the maximum information possible at one glance at the large screen.

If you want a high-power media receiver, AX7000 is your best bet

SonyXAV-AX7000
Sony XAV-AX7000
4.4
The waterproof property of this receiver makes it suitable for use where you’re sure it will come across some water/moisture.

Good music goes a long way. The AX7000 has the highest-powered receiver, with a rating of 100W from 4 channels. The AX 5000 and 8000 both run at 55W, which is neither bad at all.

Nevertheless, the 100W power of the AX7000 gives you quality music even when running on high volume. You rarely need an amp to install an extra subwoofer with this kind of power. If you’re looking for the highest-powered media receiver, then the AX7000 should be your ultimate choice.

Bonus: Single DIN vs. Double DIN: What is the best head unit for your car?

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