In fall of 2018, Sony announced that they were phasing out the best-selling XAV-AX100 to make room for the Sony XAV-AX1000. We suspect this move was because the newer XAV-AX5000 with its 7" screen was priced too closely to the XAV-AX100 which saturated Sony's double din options between $500-600. The new XAV-AX1000 is being introduced at an MSRP of $399.99, which is more than $100 cheaper than the outgoing model. This is great news as it opens up Sony's AX series to a larger market, but let's go through the differences between the 100 and 1000.
Similarities Between XAV-AX100 and XAV-AX1000
First, let's go through what hasn't changed between these two models. They both have 20W x 4 RMS (CTA-2006) built-in amplifiers, which is a more powerful internal amp than most other double din receivers on the market. However, both these receivers also only offer 5-channel 2 volt preamp outputs while competitors in this price range typically have 4 volt preamp outputs. This output voltage won't matter if you don't plan on adding an amplifier to your vehicle.
Both of these receivers offer a rotary volume knob which is unique to these two receivers. The vast majority of touchscreen double-din receivers on the market do not have a volume knob to maximize screen size. As far as installation goes, these receivers both use a half sized chassis meaning there's more room behind the faceplate to run wires. The front USB port on the XAV-AX1000 also makes installation a bit more simple, although some might prefer to route the USB port elsewhere which is only possible with the XAV-AX100
Next, let's take a look at the advantages each of these devices have over the other:
- Android Auto Support (only CarPlay on XAV-AX1000)
- 6.4" screen (vs. 6.2" on XAV-AX1000)
- FLAC music file support through USB drive
- Physical track skip next/back buttons
- Front USB and Aux port (rear USB and no aux on XAV-AX100)
- Sirius XM tuner input
As far as Apple CarPlay compatible decks go, both these receivers are very attractively priced and offer an incredibly user-friendly interface. That being said, it may be worthwhile considering other receivers with some premium features not found on either of these decks. Some features worth considering might be:
- iDatalink Maestro RR support. This module not only offers performance and diagnostics gauges, but can also add some advanced features related to the factory climate controls and amplifier.
- High voltage preouts. If you plan on adding an aftermarket amplifier, a receiver that offers 4V or 5V preouts will be a better platform to make these upgrades.
- Time alignment and other tuning options. As far as fine tuning the audio system goes, the Sony XAV-AX100 and XAV-AX1000 don't offer quite the adjustment as other models from Kenwood, Pioneer, and Alpine. For audiophiles that really want to personalize their sound, there may be better options out there.