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Sony CDX-M20

Marine CD receiver (New Stock)

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Item #: 158CDXM20

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15 Reviews | 5 questions - 7 answers


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Made for the marine environment

Don't settle for a regular car CD receiver in your boat — choose one that's built to stand up to the demands of the marine environment. Sony's CDX-M20 marine receiver uses a UV coating to protect the face from sun damage, along with a conformal-coated circuit board that resists moisture. It'll keep your boat rocking for years of fun on the water.

Sony CDX-M20

Plenty of ways to play your music

Plenty of entertainment options

You can play your store-bought and recordable CDs on this Sony, including discs you've loaded with MP3 or WMA files. For more variety, you can jack your iPod® or any other portable into the handy front-panel auxiliary input.

Satellite radio is a big favorite with boaters, because of its great offshore reception. You can plug an optional SiriusXM tuner into the CDX-M20 an enjoy an unparalleled variety of music, sports, talk, and news.

Sonic surfing

The 3-band equalizer tailors the sound for the perfect blend of lows, mids, and highs, while high- and low-pass filters let you send the right frequencies to the speakers and amps in your setup. Sony includes a convenient wireless remote. The CDX-M20 is also compatible with Sony's RM-X11M wired marine remote control.

Installation notes: This marine radio is water-resistant, but we recommend mounting it in a water-resistant enclosure or using a cover for best performance.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • marine CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in amplifier (17 watts RMS CEA-2006/52 peak × 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files
    • detachable face and wireless remote
    Marine-specific features:
    • coated circuit boards, UV-resistant front panel
    • memory backup stores favorite settings
    Audio features:
    • EQ3 (seven preset tone curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • high- and low-pass filters
    Expandability features:
    • compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input
    • outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs (selectable rear/sub)
    Other features and specs:

    Sony CDX-M20 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    15 Reviews

    good marine stereo

    Written by: Anonymous from Illinois on December 3, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    very nice used on a spa works great ..

    Pros: simple


    Sony CDX-M20

    Written by: Bruce H. from Virginia on November 15, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this to put in my golf. Very satisfied with every aspect of this unit.would highly recommend it to anyone who needs a waterproof stereo.

    Pros: Looks great,works great,easy to install.What else is there today Looks great,works great,easy to install.What else is there to say.

    Cons: I have no cons on this stereo.

    good marine stereo

    Written by: lloyd from New Jersey on November 10, 2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    good, relatively simple, no nonsense marine radio. easy to install. haven't used the wired remote, but wireless is fine as long as there is a direct line of site to the radio.

    Pros: simple, no frills, radio

    Cons: manual a bit confusing. some features either not there or not explained .

    Sony CDX-M20

    Written by: Beverly from Murray, KY on February 9, 2015

    2005 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Amazing product! A little hard to figure out settings at first.



    This product is great

    Written by: Drake Bailey from Clearfield, Utah on August 15, 2014

    1997 Ford F-350
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installed it in my boat for better sound quality and it lived up to the name. The looks of it did as well. Couldn't have asked for a better product for the price. Looks great and sounds great.

    Pros: -Sound quality it produces -Faceplate design -Easy installation -Installation instructions very detailed

    Cons: No bad things to say about this product.


    Written by: Srosen from Everett, Wa on May 27, 2014

    1997 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice system

    Pros: Sounds good .. easy to use


    Poor Design

    Written by: John from Palmetto, FL on March 18, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Reception and sound are fine. Controls are difficult to use and dial light remains on.



    CDX M20

    Written by: RA from NC on January 16, 2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy to install --works perfectly




    Written by: Dick from Doylestown pa on December 20, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Well designed, easy to use controls and sensitive receiver



    sony cdx-m20

    Written by: sony from new mexico on December 10, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    great product



    Sony CDX M20

    Written by: MSC from WA on October 15, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Always seem to be coming up with odd install for the staff at Crutchfield. This particular one was no different. I needed marine grade stereo & speakers to install in a golf cart that had space limitations. Typical install is buy overhead console from golf cart accessory shop & straight forward install from there. However due to 5 panel rear view mirror & retractable tow strap that was not an option. Golf cart is used at race track as support vehicle/goofing around in pits. On to stereo-unfortunately had to test out after install & it was pouring rain. Stereo did great, sounds good & bonus remote worked killer. Paired with Infinity marine speakers & cant wait for summer time pit hopping

    Pros: Water resistant, wireless remote, great sound & all the options plus some

    Cons: none found yet

    Sony CDX-M20

    Written by: JOHNE from Ga on August 19, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good radio reception good system for the price arrived sooner than Crutchfield said it would



    Great Stereo

    Written by: BenJ from Cheyenne, Wy on June 25, 2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This stereo was easy to install and the sound is amaziing. I put it on my boat in less than 15 minutes. The installation couldn't have been easier and as I mentioned the sound is outstanding. I am picking up radio stations that I can't pickup in my vehicle.

    Pros: easy install and great install.

    Cons: none

    Sony CDX-M20

    Written by: steve t from lawrenceburg, in on March 17, 2013

    2005 Toyota Tacoma
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am very satisfied with the sony reciever I purchased for my motorcycle. It sounds awesome!!



    Sony CDX-M20

    Written by: Bill from Merritt Island, FL on August 7, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice stereo, great price, great service from Crutchfield. Had read some negatives about distortion at high volume with the bass but have not notice that. Plus it is a Sony, which should be built pretty well. This unit is cheaper than the M30 model yet I believe it performs the same, just not as many bells and whistles.

    Pros: Easy installation, great sound, similar to the stereo I put in my car so features work the same. Like the Aux input for my mp3 player to the point that I have not even used a CD yet. Like the feature where the name of songs are displayed on the LCD screen (data system).

    Cons: Would have rather not had a detachable faceplate since it is another connection/failure point plus it pops off too easily if you bump the button. I used the small screw that came with the stereo that said it was for dealers only to secure the faceplate on so it would not or could not be removed without removing the whole unit first.

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Marine AM/FM/CD receiver (with 10-amp ATC fuse inserted into chassis)
    • Face
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Wiring harness
    • Remote control (RM-X201)
    • CR2025 3V lithium battery (installed in remote)
    • 2 Radio removal tools
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Rubber auxiliary cap
    • Metal backstrap
    • Pan-head machine screw
    • Self-tapping screw
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Operating Instructions (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Installation/Connections sheet (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • US Limited Warranty sheet
    • Canada Consumer 1 Year Warranty
    • Note on installing rubber auxiliary cap
    • Face-fixing screw note

    Features and Specs

    CEA-2006 Compliant Yes
    RMS Power Output 17 watts
    Peak Output 52 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 2-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs Yes
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2 volts
    Display Color White/Black
    Key Button Color Blue
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input
    USB Input No
    Memory Card Slot N/C
    Bluetooth Compatible No
    Satellite Radio Ready SiriusXM
    HD Radio No
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size N/A
    Nano N/A
    Touch N/A
    Mini N/A
    iPhone N/A
    FM Sensitivity 8 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Marine Rated
    Radio Functions
    Disc Playback
    AUX Connection
    Audio Section
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Marine Rated

    Marine Receiver: The Sony CDX-M20 Marine AM/FM CD receiver features a UV resistant faceplate (tested under ASTM G154), a conformal coated circuit board for marine use and a plastic cover over the top of the chassis to protect against humidity.

    • UV Resistance: UV Resistant front-panel coating protects faceplate to help prevent discoloration from the sun. Meets the standard for ASTM G154 for UV resistance.
    • Conformal Coated Circuit Boards: Conformal coated circuit boards protect the electronic assembly from damage due to contamination, salt spray, moisture, fungus, dust, and corrosion caused by harsh or extreme environments.

    Water Resistant Covers (optional): Even though the conformal coating makes the receiver water-resistant, it is still recommended that it be used with an optional universal marine cover from Metra or Scosche.

    Memory Backup: The head unit's last settings are stored automatically in the unit's non-volatized internal memory. Settings include Sound adjustments (except volume), Setup items (except clock), and Tuner presets.

    Radio Functions

    Digital Clarity Tuner: The Sony CDX-M20 is equipped with a Digital Clarity Tuner for clear AM/FM stereo sound with digital processing technology.

    RDS: The Radio Data System (RDS) feature displays radio broadcast information such as artist & track information when listening to compatible AM/FM stations.

    Preset Tuning: The radio features 5 memory bands to store and receive AM/FM stations. You can store up to 6 presets each in FM1, FM2, FM3, AM1 and AM2 (total: 18 FM/12 AM). Preset tuning can be done manually or automatically.

    • Best Tuning Memory (BTM): This feature selects stations with the best signals within the selected band and stores them in order of their frequency. You can select from FM1, FM2, FM3, AM1, and AM2.
    • Manual Tuning: You can manually tune and find your favorite radio stations one by one for FM1, FM2, FM3, AM1, and AM2.

    Auto Tuning: You can use the seek button to help you search quickly through the available stations and then choose your own presets from these available stations.

    Local Seek Mode: In the Local Seek Mode, the unit will only tune in stations with very strong signals during Seek tuning.

    Mono Mode: The Mono Mode allows you improve poor FM reception by selecting a monaural signal instead of a stereo signal.

    SiriusXM Ready: The Sony CDX-M20 comes ready for SiriusXM programming with access to XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations. Thanks to its proprietary SiriusXM Connect port, you can add the optional SXV300V1 SiriusXM Connect tuner and receive more than 150 channels of exclusive programming directly from SiriusXM, via the "SiriusXM All Access" package (subscription required). Visit for a complete list of subscription options and channel guide. Additional features of the SXV300 SiriusXM Connect tuner include:

    • Channel list displays a list of all available channels
    • Category Search searches for channels in a certain category
    • Displayed Information such as Channel Name, Artist Name, & Song Title can be viewed on the head unit's LCD
    • Up to 18 SiriusXM Satellite Radio station presets
    • Channels containing unsuitable content for children can be blocked
    Note: A separate SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription is required (operates on the XM Network). However, you can easily add this SiriusXM tuner to an existing Sirius or XM account for a Multi-Radio Discount Plan.

    Disc Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio, CD-Text, and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs (12cm only).

    MP3/WMA Playback: The Sony CDX-M20 allows you to playback CD-Rs or CD-RWs loaded with MP3/WMA songs (up to 320 kbps) recorded in ISO 9660 level 1 or 2, Joliet/Romeo, or Multi-Session. The CDX-M20 can support up 150 folders, and a combined 300 folders & files on a disc. The head unit will also display song information for MP3/WMA music files (Joliet: up to 32 characters, Romeo: up to 64 characters).

    Note: Not all MP3/WMA files may playback due to file variations. ACC files cannot be played back.

    Compressed Audio Display Information: The CD receiver can display the following CD-TEXT or ID3/WMA-tag information - Track number, Elapsed Playing Time, Song Title, Artist Name, or Album Label.

    Repeat & Shuffle: The CDX-M20 offers Repeat (track/folder) & Shuffle (All/folder) playback modes.

    Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off.  The CD player will automatically reinsert the disc if it's ejected, but not removed for 20 seconds or more.

    Auto Playback: The head unit will automatically begin disc playback, when a disc is inserted with the receiver set to a different source or powered off.

    Mounting Angle: For proper CD playback, this unit must be mounted between 0 (horizontal) and 45 degrees.

    AUX Connection

    Front-Panel Aux Input: A front-panel stereo 3.5mm minijack is provided to allow the connection of a portable audio source. Just connect your portable cassette, MD or MP3 player to this unit, and you can listen to the audio from the portable player through the speakers in your mobile audio system.  The head unit comes supplied with a rubber cap that can be placed over the auxiliary input when it is not in use to keep it dry.

    Aux Level: The volume level of the auxiliary input is adjustable from -8 to +18 dB to compensate for any difference between the unit and your portable device. The aux input can be deactivated in the menu so it doesn't appear as an available source.

    Audio Section

    True Fidelity Sound Construction: The Sony CDX-M20 Marine receiver features a newly developed sound processor for less distortion, an S-MOSFET IC for smooth signal transmission, and a large-sized capacitor for deep bass sound.

    Dynamic Reality Amp: The CDX-M20 is equipped with Sony's Dynamic Reality Amp to produce 3-dimensional sound staging for more realistic sound inside your vehicle.

    24 Bit D/A Converter: The Sony Marine CDX-M20 utilizes a 24-bit digital to analog converter for superior CD sound quality.

    CEA2006 Compliant Amplifier: The power specifications for the Sony CDX-M20 are compliant with the CEA2006 Mobile Amplifier Power Testing and Measurement standards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards were developed as a way to equitably compare power specs from model to model and between manufacturers. The power output specs for the CDX-M20 are as follows:

    • Continuous Power Output: 17 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
    • Peak Power Output: 52 watts x 4-channels (208 total watts)

    EQ3 Stage 2: The Sony CDX-M20 features an EQ3 Stage 2 equalizer with 8 preset equalizer curves for various types of music. You can choose from Xplod, Vocal, Edge, Cruise, Space, Gravity, Custom, or Off.  The Off mode provides a flat response. The Custom mode allows you to manually adjust the Low (60 Hz), Mid (1 kHz), & High (10 kHz) frequencies from +/-10dB.

    Loudness: This features reinforces bass & treble for clear sound at low volume levels.

    Switchable Rear/Subwoofer 2V Preamp Output: The Sony CDX-M20 is equipped with a switchable rear/subwoofer 2-volt preamp output for connecting a full-range or subwoofer amplifier. When set to rear, the preamp output can be faded; when set to subwoofer, the preamp output is non-fading. The head unit also offers a phase adjustment (Norm/Rev), low-pass crossover (80/100/120/140/160Hz), and independent volume control (+/-10) for the subwoofer preamp output.

    High-Pass Filter: The Sony CDX-M20 offers an adjustable high-pass filter (80/100/120/140/160Hz) for the front and rear speaker outputs of the head unit. This high-pass filter can be deactivated.

    Beep Tone: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face: The CDX-M20 features a detachable face for theft prevention. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Note: No face case is included with this unit. An optional soft face case (sold separately) can be purchased for this unit.

    Caution Alarm: If you turn the ignition switch to the Off position without detaching the head unit's front-panel, the caution alarm will sound for a few seconds. The alarm will only sound if the unit's built-in amplifier is used.

    1-Line LCD Display: The Sony CDX-M20 features a 1-line LCD display for viewing radio & song information.

    Motion Display: This feature shows moving patterns and a spectrum analyzer on the display when turned on.

    Auto Scroll: This feature allows long displayed items to scroll automatically across the display when the track is changed on a disc.

    Display Illumination/Clock Display: Pressing the Off 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.

    Dimmer: The CDX-M20 feature a dimmer mode to dim the brightness of the display. You can choose from either "Dim On" or Dim Off".

    Auto Off: When installing in a vehicle without an accessory power wire at the radio location, you can set the unit to turn off automatically after a set amount of time. The Auto Off feature can be set to 30 seconds, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or No.

    Demo Mode: The head unit's demo mode can be turned On or Off.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The CDX-M20 comes supplied with an IR wireless remote control (RM-X201) for easy operation.

    Optional Marine Remote Commander: The head unit is compatible with the RM-X11M Marine Remote Commander. The RM-X11M features an attached 7.5" cord with a male minijack on the other end that connects to the supplied 24' remote cable. The other end of this supplied cable plugs into the 3.5mm wire remote commander jack on the rear-chassis of your compatible Sony in-dash car or marine head unit. The RM-X11M also features a 12-volt lead which connects to the illumination circuit of your boat and a ground wire that connects to a metal point on your boat.

    Note: The buttons of this remote control function backward when connect to the Sony CDX-M20. For example, the Volume Up button is actually the Volume Down and vise-versa. Also, the Track Up button is really the Track Down and vise-versa. Sony is aware of this issue, but no fix is planned.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    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.

    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    I did a little bit of research and this seemed to be a good quality marine stereo for a relatively minimal price. [ Christopher  Feb 07, 2016 ]

    5 questions already asked

    As far as I can tell, yes, blue is the only color. The display can be dimmed if you find it offensive - instructions are on page 14 of the operating instructions. [ James  Nov 19, 2015 ]
    For details on fit or installation please contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and give you the details on if this will fit and what you will need for an installation in your vehicle. [ Krissy  Oct 18, 2015 ]  Staff
    With a head phone jack cord. I would get a unit with Bluetooth. [ SCOTT  Mar 07, 2015 ]
    I'm sorry that I can't help you with this bc I have not tried my unit with an iPhone 6. I have a 5s and it works fine with that. I wish I could be of more assistance. [ JASON  Mar 07, 2015 ]
    Yes. Bluetooth or standard auxiliary cord. [ JAMES D  Mar 07, 2015 ]
    If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. You can also post your question in our forums: Or try our online support center: [ Krissy  Jul 02, 2014 ]  Staff