The Sony DSX-S300BTX has been with us now for a fortnight and its time I wrote a full product review. I have had the stereo in my car for 10 days, this has allowed me get a good feel for the unit and test each feature fully.
The first thing to talk about with this unit is clearly the new TuneTray technology that Sony have developed. This really caught my eye when I was told that we would be receiving this kit and it really did live upto the hype. The build quality is excellent and the tray feels really solid when changing your media device. I used the unit with an iPhone 4 and found the tray to be the perfect size for the unit, even with the official iPhone case fitted. The USB connection is very simple and flexible making the whole process of docking any device take seconds.
So after having a fiddle with the TuneTray and how it works I got down to the serious business of playing with the features on the unit. The controls on the unit are very intuitive and within a few minutes I had found my way around the menu’s and had a basic grasp of how most of the features worked. I found the Zappin feature to be a real stand out for me. Instead of listening to the build up of each song, Zappin allows your to hear just the chorus, speeding up the song selection process. I found myself using the feature at every opportunity. There is also a SenseMe feature built in which allows you to categorise your music into moods to help select the perfect sound track for the day you are having. In order to do this you need to install a program on your PC and set it up, I found all this a little to much for a feature that did not really appeal to me. If you are using an MP3 player then perhaps it would be a little more interesting however with an iPod the play lists kind of negate the need for SenseMe.
The feature that sets this apart from the rest of the range is the blue tooth connectivity. As blue tooth goes there is little you can do to outperform other devices however the menus are well laid out and the one button voice dial is an excellent touch. As far as sound quality goes it was ok, there is an option to fit an additional mic however I found once set up properly the built in mic did the job quite well. It will never be as good as a dedicated solution such as a Bury device but as far as blue tooth stereo’s go it is one of the best I have used.
The biggest let down for me on this unit is the screen. Don’t get me wrong it is a perfectly good unit and the screen does it justice however for the price and the technology available nowadays I would like to see more LCD and full colour displays. This goes for all units priced over the £200 mark not just the Sony range however the DSX-S300BTX’s screen is still a great product.
As a summary I would say the Sony DSX-S300BTX is a fantastic product. There are features on there that are great new additions like the TuneTray. There are ways that Sony could improve on the unit with a better screen and maybe including an external mic as part of the package. If you are looking for a feature packed unit that is build solidly then you will be hard pressed to find a better car stereo for the price than the Sony DSX-S300BTX.
CAP Rating: 4.5/5
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