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Sony XT-100HD

HD Radio™ tuner for Sony car stereos

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  • Sony XT-100HD

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Our take on the Sony XT-100HD

by Robert Ferency-Viars
Sony

Love local radio? Then it's time to check out the crystal-clear reception and high-quality sound that HD Radio technology can bring to all your favorite AM/FM broadcasts. Just connect this external HD Radio tuner to your compatible Sony stereo and start enjoying AM that's as clear as FM, along with FM that's almost CD quality, on stations that have upgraded to the HD Radio format. Participating HD Radio stations can also broadcast text information (artist info, song titles, etc.), and this text will appear on the stereo's display.

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Multicasting 
Many of the upgraded radio stations broadcast one or more additional channels of programming along with their normal radio content. Radio stations use these extra channels to provide you with different musical or informational content. The XT-100HD lets you tune in these alternate channels.

Your car's antenna plugs directly into this tuner box, which then connects to the stereo's CD changer port. A pass-through connection lets you connect another piece of Sony stereo gear, too. Warranty: 1 year.

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Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • HD Radio tuner
  • 6.5' Power harness (has an in-line 5A fuse)
  • 76" Unilink Bus cable
  • 77" Stereo RCA patch cable
  • 74" Antenna extension cable (has a male Motorola connector on one end and a female Motorola connector on the other)
  • Four 1/2" Mounting screws
  • Instruction manual (English/Spanish)
  • Warranty information

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

Features
Connections

Features

HD Radio: HD Radio technology, where available, offers higher quality sound than conventional analog broadcasts and receives text data. HD Radio provides FM broadcasts that are equal to CD sound quality and AM broadcasts that are as good as analog FM stereo broadcasts. HD Radio also provides a variety of data, including station name, song title, artist name, album name, etc.

Multicasting: In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 8 multicast programs (HD1 to HD8 and analog). There are also data programs for each program.

Compatibility: The XT-100HD tuner is compatible with most Sony UniLink Bus controlling head units produced in 2005 and later.

Preset Memory: Once connected, all AM and FM broadcasts are received by the XT-100HD. HD appears as an additional source, with five preset banks; HD1 (FM1), HD2 (FM2), HD3 (FM3), HD4 (AM1), and HD5 (AM2).

CD Changer Pass-Thru: The HD tuner uses the CD changer input on the Sony head unit. You can also add a CD changer, or other UniLink device, using the CD changer pass-through connection on the tuner.

Note: The Sony XA-110iP or XA-120iP iPod adapter is not compatible with the XT-100HD's UniLink input.

Inputs and Outputs

Front Panel of Tuner:

  • Power: 3-pin jack for use with supplied power harness
  • UniLink Bus Output: connect to head unit using supplied UniLink cable
  • UniLink Bus Input: connect to additional UniLink device
  • Audio Output: connect to head unit using supplied RCA patch cord
  • Audio Input: connect to additional UniLink device
  • Antenna: Motorola antenna input jack; connects to the existing antenna using the supplied antenna extension cable
 
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Sony XT-100HD Reviews

Average Customer Review:

17 people say:

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4 out of 5

Much better than analogue in the car

Written By John T, Chicago, Il. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have HD radio at home, and some stations don't come in (I live in a high rise condo). However, in my car, they all come in great in HD, eliminating all the static, nultipath, picket fencing that happens to analogue FM in the car. At home the sounf quality of HD FM can be less than analogue. But in the car, I don't notice any downgrade. If fact it sounds clearer awith extended frequency extremes. Great unit. Only problem is that with my headend Sony MES-2200), you can't program the HD sub channels.
Pros:
Clearer, cleaner, stronger reception.
Cons:
Can' program sub channels.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

HD sound is Great

Written By Moparpete, Stockbridge< MI on Saturday, December 08, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I didn't know radio could sound so crisp.
Pros:
easy to install
Cons:
none, enjoying it everyday
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3 out of 5

is ok

Written By l3, boutte, la on Friday, June 22, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
some stations play better with antenna, and needs a split for antenna to work
Pros:
you get the extra stations
Cons:
could have been a lot better, needs split for antenna, should have come with one
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

GREAT Setup...However

Written By Ken, Fort Lauderdale, FL on Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The HD box installed without issue as you would expect. Mind you 20 Years ago I used to do Car Audio/Security for a living. That being said, if you have the capability to install your own car stereo, you are NOT going to have a problem with this add on. The only thing I wished they would have stated in the directions is that when you switch your head unit to the HD input (It shows up as an input choice just like Satellite or Ipod) you are now using the HD unit itself for all Radio Stations. This is not a problem however I am a little on the "Anal" side and the fact that you still have am and fm (Non HD) inputs to choose from in your head unit means you are going to have to get a splitter for your antenna input for the HD Unit if you still want the regular Non HD inputs to function. I would be sure to order one when you order this HD unit. Now I am going to have to take the dash apart again to add that to the install as I was caught unprepared as it was not stated in the directions for the unit. I originally thought that when it was plugged into the head unit that it would do away with the regular am and fm inputs and that is why I didn't order it myself. In my view however, if it's there, I want it to work. Just something I thought everyone should know so you can avoid the same problem if that kind of thing bothers you. Other than that, a great add on. All the local stations are broadcast in HD and a majority of them have extra HD channels playing other music. Pretty cool!
Pros:
You get GREAT SOUNDING music and additional stations for FREE (No Monthly cost) Easy install.
Cons:
You cannot save any of the "Side" Channels in your preset memory. Although it isn't a big deal because once on the main channel, just tune to the "Side" channel from the preset setting of the main HD channel. BUY AN ANTENNA SPLITTER SO YOU CAN USE THE "REGULAR" AM/FM INPUT TO YOUR HEAD UNIT AS WELL>They don't tell you this but if you want it to work as well.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Nnot even up to less Expensive Sony HD Tuner

Written By Walter 1, Dover, Ma on Monday, June 20, 2011
 
I am disappointed in this adapter. The biggest failing is that you cannot save a subchannel as a favorite. In my area we have several stations that broadcast the usual commercial rubbish on analog and their HD1 but have interesting second subchannels with Jazz and Blues. I cannot save the subchannel as a favorite so each time the unit is powered up it defaults to the primary subchannel and I have to switch manually to the desired subchannel. Sony's own XDR-F1HD table top tuner does this correctly. The second issue is you cannot force it to analog-only so if you are driving in a marginal area for the HD it drops in and out and you have to select the regular built-in tuner in your Sony head unit, which is not particularly convenient when driving. Sony must have known this was to be used in a mobile installation and such dropouts would be an issue when on the move. For $50 (considering the XDR-F1HD price and features) these problems could be forgiven but for this price (almost what I paid for the head unit) it cannot be.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Disappointed

Written By enpointe, Denver, CO on Thursday, April 07, 2011
 
I purchased this unit to combine with my Sony XNV-770BT Head Unit. The unit itself works fine and does a good job receiving HD Radio stations. Where the unit fails is in it's integration with the Sony XNV-770BT. The HD Tuner only offers a minimal subset of the features available from the normal non HD Tuner built into the HU. Since the Sony XNV-770BT was released in Fall 2010 this tells me that Sony doesn't really try to support the HD Tuner.

For example, via XNV-770BT standard Tuner when you store a station it shows the Preset station # and the station stored. For the HD tuner integration it only shows you the preset button # 1-6. The standard tuner offers a PTY List that allows you to select stations based on categories like "Adult Hits", "Soft Rock", "Top 40", "Country", etc. This feature isn't even offered by the HD Tuner. The Tuner is thus very very out of date when compared to Sony's current line of radio tuner feature set.

If you know what stations you want to listen to and they come in HD then this may be a worth while investment. But you'll probably still want to use the standard radio tuner too. For this you'll need an antenna splitter like Metra 40-UV44 Female to 2 Male Y Antenna Adapter.

Sony's customer support will tell you that you don't need it. but you probably will since they don't disable the tuner selection on the XNV-770BT if it has no antenna signal. This means you'll get static.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

HD installation

Written By Marc, Los Angeles on Monday, February 09, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I'm disappointed. I got this unit so I could hear some of the local stations better than in regular FM. Yes, they are at the ends of the dial, but still, I expected to hear them. Instead, I may have to circumvent the unit to even listen to them. Installation was easy, I just needed to find the right location under the seat and string wires. It works well with the Sony radio that goes with it. It just isn't that great a tuner for me. Sorry. I should have saved my money.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Sound

Written By Edward, Hamburg, MI on Sunday, January 25, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This HD Tuner is very easy to install and a perfect compliment to your new or old radio receiver. I love having all the options HD gives you and many, many stations broadcast on HD now. Great CLEAR sound and a great Crutchfield price to boot. Very happy with my purchase.
2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony XT-100HD

Written By Riley, Orlando, Florida on Sunday, January 18, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Does exactly what its supposed to do. You can tell the difference its like someone put more tweeters in your car. The music is more crisp and clear. It gets a little hot and depending on the car it could be tricky to figure out where you want it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

HD Radio is cool

Written By Jeremy, MN on Friday, July 25, 2008
 
I purchased this along with the CDX-GT820IP. Both work great together. The installation was kinda tricky, of course, that's probably because of my inexperience. It's no more difficult than installing an amp, which I had never done before. Now that I have it up and running, I can say that it was well worth the effort. It's true, the FM is just under CD quality, and the multicasting is awesome in that I
have so many more choices for music when I'm on the road. When I tune to a station, it acquires the HD signal within seconds, much shorter than I had expected it to take. I love that some radio stations send artist and song title info, which shows up nicely on my radio display. Unlike other reviewers, I did not have trouble storing the HD stations. I
did notice that when scrolling presets it scrolls through all three HD FM bands, which confused me at first when I would have 3 different preset #3's for
example. Analog FM reception is greatly improved as well, although since I installed it along with my new head unit I can't be sure which one gets the credit. The UniLink passthrough will also let me use my CD changer when I get around to installing that.
All in all, a fantastic product. I would rather have
not had to install this and instead had the HD Radio tuner built-in. Other manufacturers do this, why can't Sony? Also, it's a tough call whether or not this is worth the money, but if you consider that HD has no monthly fee I suppose it's not bad.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sony XT-100HD and CDX-GT710

Written By tracy_n, Dallas, TX on Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased Sony's CDX-GT710 and the XT-100HD last year and found the time to
install them this past winter. The HD unit is quite an improvement and it's true that
FM is like listening to a CD. The sound improvement alone really helps in a Miata
convertible especially when the top is down.

The stereo unit is quite an improvement over the stock 1996 Mazda stereo. I must
say the buttons are quite tiny (like on a Blackberry) so precision is a must when
going for station presets. If any HD channel is interrupted for some reason then it
does revert back to that FM channel until it can reacquire the HD signal again. Then
you'll have to hit that preset again or Seek+ to get back to additional HD broadcasts
on that channel. Every time you change stations then the unit has to lock in the HD
signal again. Once done then HD or HD1 appears and any additional HD broadcasts
are instant on that channel...until you change stations again.

To resolve the dead "TUNER" source as mentioned in prior reviews you only need to
do two things. First, purchase an antenna splitter (female to two male) adapter cable
and wire it to your car stereo's default and to the XT-100HD unit. Next, when wiring
everything behind the car stereo, be sure to wire the antenna power from both the
stereo unit and the XT-100HD. This allows both the "TUNER" and the "HD" sources
to power up the antenna. The only drawback is that the antenna will power down
and power up as you scroll through the different sources that do and don't require
the antenna.

If you choose to wire your car this way then you will be able to show family and
friends the audio difference between HD and FM; be able to compare signal strength
and audio quality over distances; and you will have enabled the "TUNER" source
again since it remains to be an option on the stereo unit anyway.

Over all, two great purchases and a good match together. Don't forget to purchase
a carrying case for the removable faceplate.
16 out of 17 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

HD stands for Huge Disapointment

Written By Michael, Annapolis MD on Sunday, March 16, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
If you live outside a major metro area, than the HD signal will come and go
depending on terrain.......a very fustratrating listen overall between the
secondary stations dropping and the primary switching between analog
and digital signals

Had I known this when I purchased, I would of held off until the technology
improves.....or goes away
3 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony XT-100HD

Written By Jim, Fairfax, VA on Saturday, February 02, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Should have gone HD radio a long time ago. The quality of the sound amazes me. It definitley sounds better than regular FM and there are a lot of HD stations in my area, some of them commercial free.


















1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

HD Radio is awesome!!

Written By Amar, West Orange, NJ on Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I also installed this with my CDX-GT610Ui. I admit I was skeptical at first dropping $100, but with the $50 rebate its a no brainer. Whether HD radio will give satellite a run for its money, I dont know, but it does sound a heck of a lot better. The FM radio sounds a lot better, and the AM almost soudns like FM, although there are only a few AM channels in HD. Overall, worth it for $50 after rebate!
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sony XT-100HD

Written By Eric, Washington, PA on Sunday, August 19, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I got this with the CDX-GT610Ui receiver. If you are interested in getting HD radio, this tuner is well worth it's $100 price tag. Take advantage of the rebate and buy one today.

You will have a few cables to run (power, antenna in, bus control out to receiver, and RCA audio out to receiver), but they include ample lengths of each. The tuner itself is fairly small, so you can mount in under a seat or in a glove box.

In our 2005 Matrix, I opted to put it under the passenger side front seat. It was a perfect fit there.

We have some issues pulling in and keeping D stations near our home, but we live in a rural area. Once we get even a few minutes away from home, we can get in HD stations and keep them locked in with no problems. Using it is a breeze. Once you have it connected, HD will appear as one of your options under Source. Tuner still appears, but no longer works - you will use the HD source for bother regular and HD radio. Once the radio acquires the HD signal, an indicator appears on the display and you press Seek + to go to the HD channel. It's that easy.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sony XT-100HD with Sony MEX-DV2000

Written By Cornan, Miramar, Florida on Friday, August 03, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I really bought this almost as an afterthought, to go with my MEX-DV2000 SACD receiver, which was the item I was waiting for (SACD in the car at last!) The XT-100HD interfaces easily with the MEX-DV2000 and makes the regular "tuner" bands unavailable, though they still show up when you press "Source" on the receiver. The HD sound is great and in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area there is plenty of HD content., including one more classical signal. It seems to me that the HD stations are capable of sending out more bass to my subwoofer than analog FM.

When you first tune in to a station you get the analog version, and then a few seconds later the receiver and XT-100HD do a little dance to lock on to the digital mode. Until this dance is over and you see "HD1" at the right place on the display, you wont be able to use the multicasting to get to HD2, HD3, etc.

This also means that you cant set a present to anything other than the "HD1"s, and if you want to listen to an HD2 station frequently then it is probably going to get tedious waiting for the HD1 to lock in while you listen to something you dont want to listen to.

I did have digital dropout once so far, when driving at ground level next to an elevated highway. I should also mention that when everything was brand new and I stopped the car and started it again later, the tuner would not come back to the same band and station that was playing when I turned off the key. (I set my station on the band that appeared and now things are either better or my kluge is working so well I dont notice)

First of its kind, not perfect, but good
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sony finally jumps in to HDRadio

Written By Michael, Macomb Township, MI on Monday, July 30, 2007
 
Sony's first HDRadio receiver is certainly worth the $100 price tag. I have found the reception and the audio quality to be excellent. The unit is relatively easy to install and fit invisibly under my dash. I wish Sony would update their radio interconnect (known as Sony Bus) to include power and audio, so the wiring could be minimized and run to the fuse block could be avoided. Kenwood's interconnect via one multi-wire cable is much better. I also note that the Sony HDRadio unit doesn't share as much functionality as Kenwood's. Sony doesn't allow multicast channels to be preset and reverts to the main channel the next time the radio is powered on. It also forces you to wait until the HD signal is acquired before allowing the selection of the and HD2, HD3, etc. channel. I'm also bugged by the fact that the TUNER source selection on the head unit remains, but is not usable. This confusing when more than one person drives the car. Because the antenna is now routed to the HD Radio unit the internal tuner receives only static. A new source called HD appears, instead.

All in all, the Sony represents an excellent value, one that any owner of a Sony head unit should avail themselves of.
12 out of 14 people found this helpful
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