You might be a car audio purist.
Not me. I’m one of the car audio fanatics who embrace all the technological advancements the car industry has to offer.
A double-DIN head unit for my viewing pleasure—you bet.
Phone connectivity—yes, again.
Hands-free calling, wireless remote, voice control, and USB? Yes, to all.
So, when Sony released the WX-920BT Double-DIN CD receiver—with all the above features—I had to check it out.
In this article, we’ll unbox and review the Sony WX-920BT CD Receiver. We’ll look at who this model will work for, what it offers, where it needs work, and where it excels.
Right out of the box you get a Double DIN head unit from Alpine that includes:
Opening the box, the WX-920BT CD Receiver comes with every standard you’d expect from a car audio giant like Sony.
Once the unit is installed, the first thing you notice is what Sony calls the Dynamic Color Illuminator. This model puts out a lot of light. Customizing the vibrant display doesn’t take a lot of effort, and gives you tens of thousands of different color options to assign to controls—awesome if you want a personalized lighting experience with your car audio. Sony’s sound sync technology also gets the illuminated display dancing to your music.
The face of the unit has USB and AUX on the right-hand side, and a CD slot along the top. According to Sony, the receiver will play CD-R, CD-RW and standard CDs.
You’ve got Android and iPhone compatibility, and smooth playback through the USB input.
Because Sony knows most of us take these things for granted, the USB port is capable of charging your device while you drive.
This brings us to Sony’s next offering on the list: Dual BLUETOOTH connectivity.
You can pair one phone to play music, and another one for hands-free calling, getting directions, and voice-controlled messaging. Sony aims to make pairing a piece of cake with its NFC-compatible receiver. If that’s too much work for you, Sony lets you auto-pair your device by connecting it through the USB input.
Android and iOS connectivity taps into other helpful features, too. Siri Eyes Free will help you manage your music and get in touch with friends without your eyes ever leaving the road.
The WX-920BT generates clear, crisp sound with low feedback and reverberation, even at high volume. We can credit this to its four-channel amp. Sony’s trademarked EXTRA BASS serves up impressive low end to get your ride thump-thumping. Even better, a solid 10-band digital equalizer gives you the freedom to create the surround sound profile you want.
Need more? The WX-920BT has considered that, too. Connect extra subwoofers or amplifiers through the three provided pre-amp outputs.
iOS is slightly better represented in the specs, with support for Siri Eyes Free and compatibility with iPhone models 5 through to X. While the WX-920BT offers Android Control, it isn’t compatible with Android Auto.
Sony offers basic functionality for both operating systems:
Where OS support differs is in the way your content is played through the unit. Depending on the type of device you use and the version of Android it’s running, you can move between two playback modes—AOA 2.0 or MTP. Either mode allows basic operation from the receiver, but here’s the major difference:
With iOS devices, playback is more simple.
You can run basic controls (play / pause / back / skip / repeat / random) from the receiver, which displays all information for your stored music and several mainstream music apps. Your device stays unlocked while connected to the unit, allowing you to navigate your playlists and music apps directly from your device.
Sony recommends that installation of its products be completed by a professional. The process is straightforward though, and most of the hardware you need for a clean install are included in the box.
You can get a PDF copy of the Owner’s manual via Sony’s website.
Short answer—no. Of course, there are accessories available to improve your listening experience. The WX-920BT has three pre-outs, so you can add an extra subwoofer or amplifier if you choose.
This model is not set up to work with your steering wheel controls out of the box. If you want that functionality, you will need to buy a control adapter for steering wheel remote input. If you drive a late-model vehicle or Japanese import, there may also be some standard functions that call for a specific adapter.
Installing an aftermarket car audio unit usually calls for a mounting sleeve. The mounting sleeve makes sure that the unit is properly set into your car’s dash, keeps it from wobbling or rattling while you drive, and keeps it sitting flush with your factory hardware. The WX-920BT includes a mounting sleeve, when purchased from an official retailer.
Traditionalists might shy away from a car audio system with this level of tech sophistication. That would be a shame.
A straight out the box install with basic CD play produces an excellent listening experience. The WX-920BT is more than capable at a basic level, but sits comfortably as a mid-range player, too.
Whether or not you need all the bells and whistles, the WX-920BT delivers quality sound, and a decent user experience. If you’re in the market for a new car audio setup this year, this one is worth a closer look.
Got a question about the Sony WX920BT? Leave it in the comments below and we can dig a little deeper.
Combine all of that with the fact that it is (relatively) inexpensive when compared to its closest competitors and you’re looking at a bit of a no-brainer decision here. Throw in the tight integration with Apple and Android devices as well as the ease of installation and there may not be a better receiver on the market today than this one.