Sony has introduced an updated model of its existing XAV-AX200 head unit. The new model name changes slightly to XAV-AX210, and its differentiating feature is iDatalink Maestro support which provides a more seamless experience when interacting with controls that are already built-in to your car. Prior to this unit, steering wheel controls, vehicle settings, and more were not plug-and-play like most customers would have hoped.

When considering aftermarket CarPlay receivers, Sony’s offerings are among some the best looking. This is not surprising when considering that most of the company’s gadgets are designed well, an opinion that even Steve Jobs shared.

With the addition of iDatalink Maestro support in its updated receiver, Sony is providing its customers with a far better option that will make the idea of installing an aftermarket head unit less intimidating.

“Sony is focused on the needs of drivers that seek premium car audio sound, as well as seamless connectivity,” said Yang Cheng, director of product marketing, Mobile and Car Audio, Sony Electronics North America. “With the AV Center XAV-AX210, we provide an innovative product that integrates the driver’s platform of choice along with Sony’s premium audio quality.”

Like its predecessor, the XAV-AX210 packs a 6.4-inch display which is an average size for many CarPlay-enabled receivers. As you would expect, the display is a touchscreen, but Sony has not clarified if it is resistive or capacitive.

If resistive technology is used, users would be able to wear any old pair of gloves they want to operate the head unit. Otherwise, users would likely want to purchase a pair of touchscreen-friendly gloves to interact with the receiver during the winter season so they do not need to take them off all the time.

Like many CarPlay receivers, Sony’s head unit does not care whether you prefer an Android or iOS-based smartphone. In addition to CarPlay, the XAV-AX210 offers Android Auto support. This is a wise decision on Sony’s part considering that many folks purchasing this head unit may use one of its very-own smartphones.

At the time of this post, Sony has not provided information regarding the receiver’s pricing or availability. Those interested can anticipate this information being available later this year.

When taking the price of Sony’s existing XAV-AX200 unit into consideration, it is probable that the new unit will fetch between $400 and $500. While there is a chance that it could be priced higher, that seems like it would be a surprising choice since we have seen some units go for under $300.

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