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Sony MEX-1HD

CD Receiver/Hard Drive Recorder

Item #: 158MEX1HD

1 Review

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $999.99

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Establish your own in-dash music library with the Sony MEX-1HD receiver's 10-gigabyte hard drive — it can hold more than 165 hours of your tunes! You can "rip" your CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs at up to 8x normal speed, so you'll spend less time dubbing and more time listening.

The 4-way built-in amplifier (23 watts RMS/52 peak x 4) provides the muscle to make your tunes sound great, and three sets of preamp outputs are available for expanding your system. Dress up the tone contour with Sony's EQ7 — 7 preset EQ curves plus 7 bands of fine-tuning help you get it perfect. An auxiliary input lets you connect a portable MP3, tape, or MD player, or even an optional Sony plug-and-play XM Satellite Radio tuner.

The G-Protection™ motorized tray mechanism makes sure your download is skip-free, and the key-off mode lets you keep storing music when the ignition's off. Use the MagicGate Memory Stick slot to transfer MP3 and ATRAC3 files to or from your PC, Clie®, or Network Walkman® (click on the "Detailed Info" tab above for details).

Organizing all that music on the MEX-1HD is a snap with its intuitive file management system. You can search by playlist, artist, genre, title, or most recent tracks. Plus, the receiver reads ID-3 tags and recognizes CD Text, even on your home-burned CD-Rs and CD-RWs.


  • motorized, fold-out detachable face
  • dot matrix display with 12 selectable screen savers
  • spectrum analyzer with 8 selectable patterns
  • 10-gigabyte hard drive (stores over 165 hours of music in ATRAC3 compresssion)
  • 8x CD ripper
  • MP3 file playback (Note: MP3 files cannot be recorded onto the hard drive)
  • key-off mode (allows recording to continue with ignition off)
  • G-Protection™ — combines a motorized CD tray, sealed playback chamber, and electronic shock protection for skip-free performance
  • Memory Stick slot
  • SSIR-EXA tuner
  • front/rear/subwoofer preamp outputs
  • EQ7 with 7 preset EQ curves and 7-band equalizer
  • Dynamic Soundstage Organizer
  • auxiliary input
  • optional wireless remote
  • 23 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 MEX-1HD Reviews

Average Customer Review:

1 Review

Best SQ

Written by: SQfanatic from London on December 18, 2010

I bought this player just because of the HDD and boy i was in for a
surprise...this player offered all the features which i cud ever use the
beginning the CD recording feature was a bit complex to understand and use, but
then it was a piece of cake and the CD recording was pretty swift and kool
quality even though it was shrinking many times..
the display is pretty basic but it does the job
the main thing is the sound quality is very flat and natural like your
present in front of the singer...
i hope Sony produces more players like these



Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • AM/FM/CD/Memory Stick/Hard Drive receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into chassis
  • Sleeve
  • Face
  • Hard face case
  • Trim ring
  • Wiring harness with in-line noise filter/10-amp fuse
  • 12" Digital I/O cable (has a USB type A connector on one end and a Sony 4-pin connector on the other end)
  • 38" Chassis ground cord
  •  2 DIN side springs (for "E" mounting)
  • 4 ISO-mount screws
  • 2 Machine screws
  • 1 Face security screw
  • 1 Cleaning cloth
  • Operating Instructions (English/French)
  • Installation/Connections sheet (English/French)
  • Warranty sheet
  • "How to Register your MEX-1HD" sheet
  • Note on connecting chassis ground cord
  • Note on securing the front panel
  • Correction sheet
  • "Version in the menu" sheet

Features and Specs

CEA-2006 Compliant ---
RMS Power Output 23 watts
Peak Output 52 watts
RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
Preamp Outputs 6-channel
Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs ---
Video Screen No
Preamp Voltage 2.0 volts
Display Color White
Key Button Color Blue
EQ Bands 7
Wireless Remote Optional
Steering Wheel Control Compatible ---
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
AUX Input Rear
Audio/video Input
USB Input ---
Memory Card Slot Memory Stick
Bluetooth Compatible ---
Satellite Radio Ready No
HD Radio ---
Navigation ---
iPod Compatibility
Full size ---
Nano ---
Touch ---
Mini ---
iPhone ---
FM Sensitivity 8 dBf
European Tuning Yes
Seek/Scan Seek
Radio Data System No

Product Research

General Features
Hard Drive Features
Memory Stick Features

General Features

Network Walkman Compatible: Using the digital I/O terminal, you can connect a Network Walkman to the MEX-1HD, allowing you to transfer files recorded on the hard drive to the Network Walkman.

Motorized Tray CD Mechanism: When loading a CD, the motorized face folds down and the motorized tray extends. After the disc is loaded, the tray retracts and the face returns to its normal position. The motorized tray mechanism does more than just add ease of operation, and impressive motorized function. It helps to seal the playback chamber, keeping CDs dust-free, and isolates the playback process from airborne vibration, especially in extreme SPL conditions. Note: Please allow at least 4.5" in front of the face for the motorized tray mechanism to open and close.

Spectrum Analyzer: You can select from the following spectrum analyzer display patterns: "Auto", "13Band Vertical", "19Band Oblique", "3Band Horizontal", "Smooth", "Wave", "Desert", "Heat Haze", or "Off".

Screen Saver: You can select one of the following screen saver display patterns: "Water Watch", "Tile", "Sound Wave", "Aquarium", "Water Surface", "Snow Fall", "Tunnel", "Convex Lens", "Fireworks", "Infinity", "Marbles", or "Space Travel".

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

Dynamic Soundstage Organizer (DSO): When the DSO function is used in a vehicle equipped with speakers mounted low in the front doors, it creates virtual speakers in the dash to raise the soundstage. This function can be turned On or Off.

SSIR-EXA Adaptive Reception: The SSIR-EXA tuner is equipped with "Adaptive Reception". The Adaptive Reception feature has two modes ("IF Auto" and "Wide") for optimizing FM reception. The "Wide" mode decreases the tuner's selectivity but results in better frequency response. The "IF 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.

Best Tuning Memory (BTM): This feature selects stations with the strongest signals within the selected band and stores them in order of their frequency.

Station Memo: You can assign a name of up to 31 characters in length to each tuner preset station. Station Memos can be used with the List-up function to locate a station.

G-Protection: G-Protection offers superior protection against mis-tracking, providing virtually skip-free playback. G-Protection features a motorized tray isolated from shock by gel filled dampers, a Quick Focus pickup and a 3 second electronic memory circuit, which acts as a buffer. Unlike other skip protection systems, G-Protection doesn't need a huge memory buffer to prevent skipping. Instead, the mechanical components of the G-Protection system do most of the work, and the 3 second buffer plays only a small part in skip prevention.

MP3 Playback: This unit can play MP3 files recorded on CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, and Romeo formats.

Mono Subwoofer Preamp Outputs: In addition to stereo front and rear preamp outputs, this unit includes one set of mono subwoofer preamp outputs. Although there are two female RCA subwoofer outputs, the same signal is carried by both connections. A low-pass filter (see below) can be used to filter high frequencies from the signals output by the subwoofer outs. The subwoofer volume level can be adjusted from -10dB to +10dB in 1dB increments.

High-pass Filter: The front and rear preamp outputs have a selectable high-pass filter that may be set to 78Hz, 125Hz, or Off.

Low-pass Filter: The subwoofer preamp outputs have a selectable low-pass filter that may be set to 78Hz, 125Hz, or Off.

Auxiliary Input: Stereo RCA preamp inputs are hardwired to the back of the unit on a 9" lead, allowing you to connect 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. You can adjust the level of the auxiliary input from -6dB to +6dB in 1dB increments.

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.

Dimmer: This unit is equipped with a wire that Sony calls an illumination lead, however, it acts as a dimmer lead. When the dimmer mode is set to "Auto" and the illumination lead receives power, the display dims to a preset level. The display brightness is not affected by the vehicle's dimmer control. Also, the dimmer feature may be turned off, so dimming does not take place when the illumination lead receives power. You may choose to dim the display at all times by setting the dimmer mode to "On". Note: For this feature to work, the unit's illumination wire must be connected to your vehicle's dash lights wire.

Hard Drive Features

10GB Hard Drive: The MEX-1HD has an internal 10GB hard drive that allows you to store over 165 hours of music.

Recording on the Hard Drive: You can record a single track, a selection of tracks, or an entire disc from the internal CD player to the hard drive. When recording, you can select a bit rate of 105k or 132k. The recording speed can be set to x1-REC (normal speed recording) or HI-REC, which records the track up to 8 times faster than normal speed recording. Note: You cannot record from a Memory Stick to the hard drive and MP3 files cannot be recorded onto the hard drive. Music recorded to the hard drive is stored in ATRAC3 format.

Move Out: This feature allows you to move music data from the hard drive to an MG Memory Stick. The music data must be downloaded from a "Pay-Per-Music" site. These sites will associate some type of "signature" with the downloaded music, indicating that the music has been paid for.

Move In: This feature allows you to move music data from an MG Memory Stick to the hard drive. The music data must be downloaded from a "Pay-Per-Music" site.

Import: This feature allows you to import audio files from an MG Memory Stick to the hard drive. The music must be downloaded from a "Pay-Per-Music" site.

Editing on the Hard Drive: To allow easy access to the music stored on the hard drive, you have several editing functions available to you:

  • Creating a Folder/Album: allows you to add a new folder or album
  • Name In: allows you to give titles to folders, albums, and tracks
  • Move Function: allows you to change the order of tracks once they have been recorded. When you move tracks, they are automatically renumbered.
  • Erase Function: allows you to erase a folder, album, or track

Repeat Play: You can repeat the current track, current album, or current folder.

Shuffle Play: You can select one of the following shuffle play modes: Album Shuffle, Folder Shuffle, or Shuffle All. In Album Shuffle mode, the tracks in the current album are played in random order. In Folder Shuffle mode, the tracks in the current folder are played in random order. In Shuffle All mode, all the tracks of all the folders are played in random order.

Play List: Up to 400 tracks can be programmed and played in any order.

Memory Stick Features

Recording with the Memory Stick: When using a Memory Stick in the MEX-1HD, you have access to the following recording functions:

  • Check-Out:  allows you to check out music data from the hard drive to an MG Memory Stick
  • Check-In: allows you to return checked-out music from an MG Memory Stick to the hard drive
  • Backup: allows you to temporarily store any digital camera data from a Memory Stick or voice data from an IC recorder to the hard drive
  • Restore: allows you to return backed-up data to the original Memory Stick

Editing on the Memory: To allow easy access to the music stored on a Memory Stick, you have several editing functions available to you:

  • Creating a Folder: allows you to add a new album
  • Labeling an Album: allows you to give a title an album
  • Move Function: allows you to change the order of tracks once they have been recorded. When you move tracks, they are automatically renumbered.
  • Erase Function: allows you to erase unwanted tracks


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. 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.

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