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Sony CDX GS500R Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information. Click here to see our current Top Ten car stereos.

Our Verdict

If the Sony CDX-GS500R had Bluetooth capability, it would be a much better head unit.

For

  • The Sony CDX-GS500R is a great-sounding head unit with many customizable features and the popular app remote feature.

Against

  • This head unit doesn't have Bluetooth capability.
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Sony CDX-GS500R image: This head unit comes with a feature that will change the color of the display in sync with your music.

Sony CDX-GS500R image: This head unit comes with a feature that will change the color of the display in sync with your music.
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Sony CDX-GS500R image: You have three pairs of RCA outputs available for future expansion.

Sony CDX-GS500R image: You have three pairs of RCA outputs available for future expansion.
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Sony CDX-GS500R image: The remote control can navigate the menus and change the volume.

Sony CDX-GS500R image: The remote control can navigate the menus and change the volume.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information. Click here to see our current Top Ten car stereos.

The CDX series by Sony is a collection of CD-playing head units. The head units go from the basic model to one with the best and most desirable features. When replacing your current factory-installed car stereo system, use the CDX-GS500R as a good example of what is available in this series of car audio systems. The CDX-GS500R is the only model in this series with an app remote. It is the best model in the CDX series and is therefore programmed with most of the features offered by the head units in this series.

The Sony CDX-GS500R is a great-sounding CD-playing head unit that also comes with customizable features in regards to sound quality that help it stand out. The CDX-GS500R has a seven-band equalizer that gives you a good deal more control over sound customization than a basic model would. You have seven bands on which to tweak the sound to dial it in as closely as you can to the best sound in your car. Add the high-pass and low-pass filter controls, and you can fine-tune your car stereo system to your preferences.

The high-pass and low-pass filters really come into play if you upgrade the speakers in your car. The CDX-GS500R supports expansion of your current system with three pairs of RCA outputs at 5 volts of power per pair – one pair is designated solely to connect a subwoofer and amplifier. The low-pass and high-pass filters will help direct the right frequencies to the correct speakers, and you can tweak this even more with the control options.

Along with the CD player, the Sony CDX-GS500R also comes with a front auxiliary port and front USB access. Between these three inputs, this head unit can play MP3, WMA and AAC files. Also, it can play satellite radio with an adapter. The major downside is that this model doesn't feature Bluetooth.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the Sony CDX-GS500R, you can contact the company by live chat, email or phone. Additionally, you can find help on the active Facebook and Twitter accounts. The CDX-GS500R comes with an impressive three-year warranty from Sony, should yours have any defects.

The Sony CDX-GS500R has great sound quality and multiple ways to play music. However, the lack of Bluetooth connectivity keeps it from being a truly excellent head unit like the top products in our best car stereo reviews.