Ready to rock? So is the Sony Xplod CDX-L550X CD receiver, with its 23.2 watts RMS (52 watts peak!) per channel! For maximum punch, precision-tune the sound contour with EQ7, providing 7 bands of equalization and 7 convenient EQ presets.

The fold-down detachable face features a large display for easy visibility. Sony's SSIR-EXA Adaptive Reception tuner provides outstanding radio reception with high selectivity. The handy Rotary Encoder centralizes most system adjustments. Wired or wireless remote controls are optional.

  • detachable, fold-down face
  • two-color display
  • Rotary Encoder
  • Cross-key Control
  • SSIR-EXA tuner
  • 18 FM/12 AM presets
  • one set of preamp outputs
  • EQ7 features 7 bands of EQ (+/-10 dB at 62, 157, 396, 1,000, 2,500, 6,300, and 16,000 Hz) and 7 EQ presets ("Vocal," "Club," "Jazz," "New Age," "Rock," "Custom," and "Xplod")
  • My Best Position optimizes imaging for different seating locations in your vehicle
  • CD Text
  • CD-R compatible
  • optional wired or wireless remotes
  • clock
  • 23.2 watts RMS/52 peak x 4 channels
  • CD frequency response 10-20,000 Hz
  • CD signal-to-noise ratio 90 dB
  • FM sensitivity 8 dBf
  • 1-year warranty

Why replace your factory radio?

Two good reasons - sound quality and cool features. A new car stereo offers power that's superior to most factory radios, along with more sophisticated tone controls. And most car stereos offer built-in or optional features that add safety and fun to life in your car, including inputs for your iPod or MP3 player, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone calls, satellite radio or HD Radio reception, and connections for building an audio system in your car.

Sony CDX-L550X Reviews

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Fabulous CD Radio!!

Written By adambomb1701, Staten Island, New York on Friday, May 27, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this unit in April, 2001, for my 1991 Ford Tempo. The Crutchfield installation kit made the install super easy. In fact, I installed the unit in my car at the end of a long day; that's how confident I was. (It's connected to four Pioneer speakers, by the way.) I have gotten so much pleasure from it over the years; you have no idea how much. In fact, I wonder why I didn't switch from cassettes to CD a long time before. The only problem I have encountered was with those hybrid CD/SACD discs; I had trouble ejecting them from the unit. (I spoke to a technical adviser about it, and I wasn't alone with this problem, by the way - I don't think it was the fault of the unit.) But, as SACD didn't seem to catch on, it's probably a non-issue now. I know the unit is a bit dated, as it doesn't play MP-3 discs, nor does it have changer or satellite radio controls. (I don't drive a lot, and I see no need for a changer or satellite radio now.) But, for where I sit, it still runs rings around a lot of what Sony, or a lot of other car stereo makers, curently sell.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • AM/FM/CD receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into chassis
  • Sleeve
  • Face
  • Hard face case
  • Trim ring
  • Wiring harness
  • 2 DIN side springs (for "E" mounting)
  • 4 ISO-mount screws
  • 1 Metal backstrap
  • 1 Self-tapping screw
  • 1 Machine screw
  • 1 Plastic spacer
  • 2 Face security screws
  • Operating Instructions
  • Installation/Connections sheet
  • Warranty sheet
  • "STOP - NEED HELP??" sheet (provides toll free Sony technical assistance phone #)
  • Note on securing the front panel

Features and Specs

CEA-2006 Compliant ---
RMS Power Output 23.2 watts
Peak Output 52 watts
RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
Preamp Outputs 2-channel
Sub Preamp Outputs No
Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs ---
Video Screen No
Preamp Voltage 2 volts
Display Color Red/White
Key Button Color Red
EQ Bands 7
Wireless Remote Optional
Steering Wheel Control Compatible ---
Parts Warranty 1 YEAR
Labor Warranty 1 YEAR
AUX Input No
Audio/video Input
USB Input ---
Memory Card Slot No
Bluetooth Compatible ---
Satellite Radio Ready No
HD Radio ---
Navigation ---
iPod Compatibility
Full size ---
Nano ---
Touch ---
Mini ---
iPhone ---
FM Sensitivity 8 dBf
European Tuning No
Seek/Scan Seek
Radio Data System No

Product Research



Display/Button Illumination: The main display line (which shows tuner frequency, track number, track time and text info), MBP indicator, EQ display, and menu navigation arrows (cross-key controls) are displayed with white illumination. The clock/source portion of the display, repeat indicator, and shuffle indicator are displayed with red illumination. The buttons are backlit with red illumination.

Dual Info Display: There is a portion of the display that can be set to show the source name (FM1, FM2, CD, etc.) or the clock, while the main display line shows CD Text, the track number and elapsed time, or the tuner frequency.

Motion Display: When the motion display is turned on, white lines above and below the main display line scroll back and forth. You can select Motion Display 1, Motion Display 2, or Off.

CD Compatibility: This unit will play prerecorded CDs and finalized CD-Rs. The unit reviewed by Crutchfield played a CD-RW disc, but Sony does not claim compatibility with CD-RW discs. Results with CD-RW discs will vary depending on the quality of the discs; there are audio CD-RW discs that this unit will not play.

Rotary Encoder Control with Cross-Key Control: This unit is equipped with a rotary control that turns like a conventional knob (for volume, bass, treble etc) and cross-key buttons (for seek and manual tuning, track advance and track search, etc) for easy, intuitive operation. There are four cross-key buttons; the four buttons are located immediately above, below, to the left and to the right of the rotary encoder for convenient operation.

My Best sound Position (MBP): When you are driving without passengers, MBP allows you to adjust the sound environment for improved listening. MBP has two presets that adjust the sound level of balance and fader. MBP-A adjusts the right balance level -4dB and the rear fader level -4dB. MBP-B adjusts the left balance level -4dB and the rear fader level -4dB.

EQ7: You may select one of the following EQ presets: Vocal, Club, Jazz, New Age, Rock, Custom, or Xplod. For each preset, you can adjust the following frequencies: 62Hz, 157Hz, 396Hz, 1kHz, 2.5kHz, 6.3kHz, and 16kHz. You can adjust each frequency from +10 to -10.

CD Text Capable: When used with a CD Text encoded CD, this unit will display the CD text information.

Station Memo: You can assign a name of up to 8 characters in length to each tuner preset station. Station Memos can be used with the List-up function to locate a station.

SSIR-EXA Adaptive Reception: The SSIR-EXA tuner is equipped with "Adaptive Reception". The Adaptive Reception feature has two (IF AUTO and WIDE) for optimizing FM reception. The "wide" mode decreases the tuner's selectivity but results in better frequency response. The auto mode automatically adjusts the tuner for a good balance between frequency response and minimum station-to-station interference. The Adaptive Reception feature cannot be turned off.

Source Tone Memory: Each source (AM/FM/CD) can store its own bass and treble levels.

Remote Compatibility: This receiver can be controlled by an optional wired rotary commander (item 158RMX4S) or optional wireless remote control (item 158RMX114).

Attenuator/Mute: The attenuate/mute function is accessible only by remote (remotes sold separately).

Cellular Mute Lead: This unit is equipped with a lead that mutes audio output when a cellular call is received, then restores the level once the call is over. To use this feature, you must have a cellular phone with a muting output that can be connected to the cellular mute lead.

Sound and Display Settings:

  • Clock: Allows you to set clock time (clock displays on upper left hand portion of display).
  • Beep: Turns the beep that unit normally makes when a function is selected On or Off. This beep sound is from the internal amplifier ONLY, not the preamp outputs.
  • RM (Rotary Commander): Changes the control direction of the optional wired remote, so it corresponds to where the remote is mounted (left or right of steering column).
  • D.INFO (Dual Information): Used to display the clock and play mode at the same time.
  • M.DSPL (Motion Display): Allows you to select Motion Display 1, Motion Display 2, or Off.
  • A.SCRL (Auto scroll): Automatically scrolls a disc or track name if it exceeds 8 characters.
  • LOUD: Turns loudness function On or Off.
  • LOCAL: Turns local seek mode On or Off.
  • MONO: Turn mono mode On or Off.
  • IF AUTO/WIDE: Allows you to select IF Auto or Wide Adaptive Reception mode.
  • BTM (Best Tuning Memory): Selects the stations with the strongest signals and memorizes them in the order of their frequencies.
  • Name Edit: Allows you to label a radio station or CD.
  • Name Del: Allows you to delete the name that you have entered for a radio station or CD.
  • EQ7 Tune: Allows you to select and adjust the EQ presets.


Display Illumination/Clock Display: Pressing the power button once will turn off audio output, but the clock display and face/button illumination remain on. This makes the clock display and face/button illumination "Keyed" instead of "Unit On" only. To turn the unit off completely, you must press the OFF button for two seconds. Note: When installing in a vehicle without an accessory power wire at the radio location, you must turn the radio completely off (this defeats keyed operation), or you may wire the accessory power wire of this radio to an alternate source of accessory power to retain keyed clock and face/button illumination operation.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.