About the Sony RSX-GS9
Audiophile sound for the automotive enthusiast
Audiophile sound for the automotive enthusiast
If you're into digital music, you're probably used to settling for "lossy" sound when you play your favorite tunes in the car. Well, you don't have to settle anymore. Sony's High-Resolution Audio system lets you enjoy the songs you love in all the glorious detail the artists intended. The system includes this RSX-GS9 receiver, plus speakers, amps and subs (sold separately or in packages - see below) that are designed to work together to produce stunning, audiophile-quality sound in your car.
Superior components and construction
Designed for the serious audiophile, Sony's RSX-GS9 hi-res digital media receiver brings true high-resolution performance to the automotive environment. The digital and analog sections live in two separate layers inside an incredibly rigid chassis, so noise caused by vibration and interference is virtually eliminated. Sony uses superior components found in their high-end home audio products to ensure that your music is delivered with the highest possible fidelity. You'll hear your music with all the clarity and punch you expect, whether your hi-res files are on your phone or a compatible media player (like a Sony Hi-Res Walkman).
A system designed for serious listeners
The RSX-GS9 will play a vast array of digital file types, including WMA, MP3, AAC, FLAC, and DSD. High-res files will sound as wonderful as you expect them too, but you'll also be amazed at what Sony's Digital Sound Enhancement Engine does to your old, non-high-res tunes. They won't sound totally high-res, but they'll still sound better than ever after the receiver automatically upscales them for you. You can even adjust the time alignment to create the ideal sound stage for your vehicle.
This premium digital-to-analog converter translates your files with unerring accuracy.
The RSX-GS9 works with Apple® or Android® smartphones, so you can play your music using the built-in Bluetooth®, NFC, or Sony's SongPal app, which lets you browse a wide variety of streaming services. SongPal also lets you control your receiver's settings from your phone. You can plug your iPod, iPhone, or Android phone into the receiver's front USB input for direct control and playback of your music.
Sony's High Resolution Audio System
This audiophile-quality receiver is just one part of Sony's impressive High Resolution Audio System. It's designed to work with Sony's unique series of incredibly advanced speakers, amps, and subs that are optimized for high-res performance. Team up this receiver with one of Sony's high-res players, and you'll discover a new world of listening enjoyment in your vehicle.
Hi-res packages available
We offer two packages featuring this unique Sony receiver. The RSX1 package includes 6-3/4" speakers, a set of supertweeters, and a 4-channel amp, all designed by Sony to deliver high-resolution audio in your vehicle. The RSX2 package adds a 12" subwoofer and a mono amp to drive the bass.
Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?
In most cars, you'll need an adapter to retain those controls with this car stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and radio, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. You'll see the adapters that work with your vehicle when you add this receiver to your cart.
Bluetooth note: Use of this receiver's Bluetooth features will depend upon your phone's Bluetooth capabilities. Learn more in our article explaining Bluetooth profiles.
iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.
This digital media receiver will not play CDs.
- high-res digital media receiver (does not play CDs)
- no built-in amplifier
- built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming (external mic included)
- NFC easy pairing
- plays MP3, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AAC, WMA, AIFF, and DSD files
- 32-bit ES9018S digital-to-analog converter for superior processing
- MUSES 8920E high-end operation amp for exceptional realism
Smartphone Features :
- limited iPod, iPhone, and iPad control
- DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) improves sound of compressed music files
- low- and high-pass filters
- 10-band EQ
- time alignment
- inputs: front and rear USB ports; front and rear auxiliary inputs
- outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (5-volt front, rear, sub)
- optical digital output with 96kHz/48kHz sample rates
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # RSXGS9
What's in the box:
- Digital media receiver
- Sleeve (installed)
- Trim ring (installed)
- 15A Fuse box
- Wiring harness
- Remote control (RM-X261)
- 3V CR2025 battery (installed in remote)
- 53" USB extension cable
- Microphone w/ bracket (attached 11' cord terminated by a right-angle male 3.5mm connector)
- Two-sided tape
- Hook-and-loop strap
- 2 Removal tools
- 4 ISO-mount screws (M5 x 8mm)
- Operating Instructions (En/Fr)
- "Playing A USB Device" instructions
- Warranty sheet
Sony RSX-GS9 reviews
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More details on the Sony RSX-GS9
Features & specs
|USB Port Power||1.5A|
|Backup Camera Input||No|
|Second Camera Input||No|
|Alexa Voice Control||N|
|Memory Card Slot||USB memory|
|Satellite Radio Ready||No|
|Nano||3Gen and newer|
|Touch||2Gen and newer|
|iPhone||3G and newer|
|RMS Power (CTA-2006)||N/A|
|RMS Power (Manufacturer)||---|
|RMS Power Bandwidth||N/A|
|Sub Preamp Outputs||Yes|
|Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs||No|
|Navigation App Compatible (iOS)|
|Navigation App Compatible (Android)|
|Preamp Voltage||5 volts|
|Key Button Color||White|
|Steering Wheel Control Compatible||Adapter required|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
|FM Sensitivity||8 dBf|
|Radio Data System||No|
|Music File Playback||MP3,WMA,AAC,FLAC,WAV,DSD,|
|High-res Playback||up to 24-bit/192kHz, 5.6M|
|Second Camera Input Lane Watch||N|
ESS DAC w/ High-Precision Clock Generator: Experience the same caliber of sound usually reserved for high-end home audio products, thanks to the ESS DAC chip (ES9018S); an industry-leading 32-bit D/A converter that provides optimum quality from all your digital music files. A high-precision clock generator works to improve digital-to-analog conversion accuracy. The clock generator further refines digital-to-analog conversion for precise, stable sound.
High Rigidity Chassis & Aluminum Front-Panel: The RSX-GS9 High-res digital media receiver has a high rigidity receiver chassis. This minimizes internal and external vibrations, achieving ultra-low distortion even in harsh in-car environments. Its machined aluminum front-panel offers a sophisticated design and minimizes unwanted resonance even further.
Separate Chassis Blocks: The dual-layer design of the chassis separates analog and digital circuitry, preventing noise and interference for uncompromised sound quality. Each component bock has its own dedicated circuit to optimize performance.
High-End Operation Amp & Audio Capacitors: High-end operation amp components (MUSE8920) are used in the RSX-GS9's analog circuits for greater depth of sound and audio realism. Sony's specialized audio capacitors work to deliver high-fidelity sound with a bright, full-bodied tone
6ch/5V Preamp Outputs: The Sony RSX-GS9 Hi-Res digital media receiver is equipped with 5-volt Front, Rear, & Sub pre-amp outputs giving you the ability to connect external amplifiers to your car stereo system. The unit's subwoofer preamp output is non-fading.
Note: This unit is not equipped with a built-in amplifier. You will need to purchase an external amplifier(s). The Sony XM-GS4 amplifier supports Hi-Res audio.
Optical Output: The head unit's Optical (Toslink) digital output is designed for connecting a power amplifier with an optical digital input. When the optical connection is made, the volume controls on the front panel or remote commander are bypassed. Other settings, such as Subwoofer, Pos Custom, Pos Preset, EQ10 Preset, Balance, Fader, and DSEE HX are automatically set to Off.
DSEE HX Upscaling: DSEE HX technology injects more life into your music, upscaling compressed files to near High-Resolution Audio quality. Restoring the subtleties of the original recording gets you closer to the sound of a live performance. This feature can only be accessed from the SongPal app on your Apple iOS or Android device.
High-Pass & Low-Pass Filters: The front & rear preamp outputs offer a selectable high-pass crossover frequency of 50Hz, 63Hz, 79Hz, 99Hz, 125Hz, 158Hz, 198Hz, 250Hz, or Off. You can also adjust the slope (-12, -24, -36, or -48 dB/oct) of the high-pass crossover. The subwoofer preamp output features a low pass filter with a selectable cut-off frequency of 50Hz, 63Hz, 79Hz, 99Hz, 125Hz, 158Hz, 198Hz, 250Hz, or Off. You can also adjust the slope (-12, -24, -36, or -48 dB/oct) of the low-pass crossover. These HP & LP filter settings can be controlled from the included IR remote or SongPal app.
Sub Control: You can adjust the subwoofer preamp output's volume level (-10 to +10dB) independently from the head unit's main volume control. In addition, you can select the phase of the subwoofer output from Normal or Reverse. Sub controls can be adjusted from the included IR remote or SongPal app.
EQ10: R&B, Rock, Pop, Dance, Hip-Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Soul, Country, Custom, or Off (Flat). The Custom mode allows you to make your own equalizer settings. You can adjust the level (+/-6dB) of 10 different frequency bands - Band1 (32Hz), Band2 (63Hz), Band3 (125Hz), Band4 (250Hz), Band5 (500Hz), Band6 (1khz), Band7 (2khz), Band8 (4kHz), Band9 (8kHz), and Band10 (16kHz). The equalizer curve setting can be memorized for each source. The EQ presets can be selected from the remote, while the custom EQ has to be configured from the SongPal app on your Apple iOS or Android device.
Listening Position: This unit can change the localization of sound by delaying the sound output from each speaker to suit your position, and simulate a natural sound field with the feeling of being in the center of it wherever you sit in the car. You can choose from Front Right, Front Left, Front, Center (All), or Off. You can also set the subwoofer distance of the subwoofer to Near, Normal, or Far. You can even manually set the distance from each speaker to your desired position from 0' to 11.5'. These time-alignment settings can be controlled from the included IR remote or SongPal app.
Loudness: The Loudness feature reinforces bass and treble for clear sound at low volume levels. Loudness is controlled from the included IR remote or SongPal app on your mobile device.
Front & Rear USB Port: The Sony RSX-GS9 High-res digital media receiver features a front-panel USB (type-A) port and a rear-panel USB (type-A) port; the rear-panel USB port also includes a 53" USB extension cable. The receiver's front- and rear-panel USB ports can be used for plugging in (MSC) Mass Storage Class USB devices formatted in FAT 16/32; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The head unit can play a variety of music files stored on compatible USB MSC devices. The unit will recognize up to 997 music folders and 10,000 total music tracks.
- Control: You can control basic playback functions such as Play/Pause & Previous Next track from the receiver's front-panel or remote.
- No Metadata Display: There is no song/artist/information display and no elapsed playing time or track number display.
- Charging: USB portable devices that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the digital media receiver's USB port (1.5A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.
Note: The front-panel USB (type-A) port is labeled "USB-1" in the source display. The rear-panel USB (type-A) port is labeled "USB-2" in the source display. The front & rear USB (type-A) ports are not compatible with newer Android operating systems that use MTP or AOA 2.0.
Front-Panel microUSB Port: The Sony High-res digital media receiver is equipped with a front-panel microUSB (type-B) port to connect a high resolution audio source like your Windows PC, Mac laptop, or high res portable audio player. You'll be able to playback DSD & PCM high resolution music files. There is no playback control from the head unit or remote control, and there is no song/artist/information display or no elapsed playing time or track number display. You will need to control music playback and view song/artist information from your High-res source device.
- Windows PC: To play high-resolution audio files on your Windows PC through the Sony digital media receiver, you will need to download the Hi-Res Audio Player or Media Go software for Windows. A Windows PC also requires installing a dedicated Sony USB driver.
- Mac Computer: To play high-resolution audio files on your Mac computer through the Sony digital media receiver, you will need to download the Hi-Res Audio Player software for Mac. No additional driver is required for a Mac computer.
Note: The unit's microUSB (type-B) port is labeled "USB-DAC" on the source display. The unit's microUSB (type-B) port is not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad devices.
Compatible Audio Files: Playable file formats, sampling frequencies, and bit depths differ depending on whether the USB (type-A) port or the microUSB (type-B) port is used.
|Music File Formats||Front-Panel microUSB (type-B) Port||Front- or Rear-Panel USB (type-A) ports|
ASIO Native: 2.8 MHz/1-bit, 5.6 MHz/1-bit
|Playback not supported|
|PCM||Max. 192 kHz/24 bit||Playback not supported|
|DSF||Playback not supported||2.8 MHz/1-bit (PCM convert)|
|DSDIFF||Playback not supported||2.8 MHz/1-bit (PCM convert)|
|WAV||Playback not supported||
192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1 kHz; 24-bit |
192/176.4/96/88.2 kHz; 16-bit
|AIFF||Playback not supported|| 192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1
kHz; 24-bit |
192/176.4/96/88.2 kHz; 16-bit
|FLAC||Playback not supported||
192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1 kHz; 24-bit |
192/176.4/96/88.2 kHz; 16-bit
|ALAC||Playback not supported|| 192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1
kHz; 24-bit |
192/176.4/96/88.2 kHz; 16-bit
|AAC||Playback not supported||16/22.05/24/32/44.1/48/88.2/96 kHz; 16-320 kbps|
|WMA||Playback not supported||32/44.1/48 kHz; 16-320 kbps|
|MP3||Playback not supported||16/22.05/24/32/44.1/48 kHz; 16-320 kbps|
Gapless Playback: Many live and classical albums have no gaps in the music. Gapless playback ensures that there are no pauses between audio files. This provides playback with no interruptions, the way it was meant to be heard. Compatible with WAV, FLAC, AIFF, and ALAC music files via USB.
Stereo Minijack Input (Aux 1): A front-panel stereo minijack input (3.5mm) is provided to allow the connection of a portable audio source. Just connect your portable digital music player to this unit, and you can listen to the audio from the portable player through the speakers in your mobile audio system. 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 level volume adjustment is only available through the SongPal app on your Apple iOS or Android device.
High Level Input (Aux 2): The High-res digital media receiver also features a left & right high-level input for connection to an audio device with a left & right high-level output.
Android OTG Compatible: The Sony High-res digital media receiver's front-panel microUSB (type-B) port also provides connect to select Android (OS 4.0+) smartphones with OTG compatibility. When connecting an Android smartphone which supports OTG, a USB OTG cable (sold separately; not available at Crutchfield) is required. Download the USB OTG Checker app onto your Android smartphone to check. Depending on the Android smartphone, downloading a dedicated app for playing high-resolution audio files is also required.
- No Control: There is no playback control from the head unit or remote control. All music playback control will still have to be done from your Android device.
- No Metadata Display: There is no song/artist/information display and no elapsed playing time or track number display. Visual data can still be viewed from the LCD touchscreen on your Android device.
- No Charging: There is no charging of your Android device when connected to the microUSB port.
iPod/iPhone USB Direct Connection: The RSX-GS9 High-res digital media receiver's front- or rear-panel USB (type-A) port allows you to connect select iPod/iPhone devices via the Lightning-to-USB or 30-pin to USB cable that comes with your iPod or iPhone (not included with this head unit). This USB 1-Wire connection offers music playback, basic control, & charging of select iPod/iPhones. The USB connection bypasses the iPod/iPhone's DAC and uses the head unit's high-quality ESS 32-bit DAC to maximize sound quality.
- Control: You can control basic playback functions such as Play/Pause & Previous Next track from the receiver's front-panel or remote. Newer Apple iOS devices with iOS 6.0+ allow you to continue to use your Apple device's touchscreen to navigate your stored music and access music apps; older iPod/iPhone devices will be locked during connection.
- No Metadata Display: There is no song/artist/information display and no elapsed playing time or track number display. Visual data can still be viewed from the LCD touchscreen on your Apple iOS (6.0+) device. Older Apple devices will remain locked with no display.
- Charging: While connected and the ignition switch is set to ACC or ON, the head unit's USB (1.5A) connection will power and charge your iPod/iPhone (not iPad). If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then this unit will not recognize it.
iPod/iPhone Compatibility Chart: The Sony RSX-GS9 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 1/7/2016):
|Apple Device||Generation||Tested Version||Media Type||Control Type||Display Type||Bluetooth||Charge|
|Audio||Video||Head Unit||iPod/iPhone||SongPal App||Artist/Song Text||Track Info||Phone||Audio|
Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.
Bluetooth Technology: The Sony RSX-GS9 High-res digital media receiver is equipped with built-in Bluetooth (version 3.0), allowing you to make and receive phone calls wirelessly through the receiver; as well as stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to the head unit. In order to use Bluetooth wireless technology, your phone must also be Bluetooth compatible and be able to interpret certain profiles. This unit is compatible with the following Bluetooth Profiles:
- Hands-Free Communication: HFP 1.6 (Hands Free Profile), SSP (Serial Port Profile).
- Audio Streaming: A2DP 1.3 (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP 1.5 (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile).
Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Sony RSX-GS9. Please visit Sony eSupport for a complete list of compatible Bluetooth enabled phones.
SSP + NFC Pairing: With Secure Simple Pairing (SSP), you can easily pair a Bluetooth enabled phone to the Sony RSX-GS9 without having to enter pin codes or go through complicated settings; simply press-and-hold the "Pairing" button on the front of the head unit and activate Bluetooth on your Bluetooth-enabled mobile device. Android (OS 4.1+) smartphones that have Near Field Communication (NFC) pair simply by touching the Android device's NFC tag to the head unit's NFC tag on it rotary-knob. For older Android smartphones with OS 4.0 or lower, download the NFC Easy Connect app from Google Play to use the head unit's NFC pairing function.
Hands-Free Communication (w/ External Mic): The Sony RSX-GS9 supports Bluetooth hands-free communication for your Bluetooth enabled cell-phone (such as your iPhone or Android smartphone). The receiver features an external microphone (w/ adjustable gain), so you can carry on your side of the conversation while listening to the caller through your vehicles front speakers only. And thanks to the latest Hands-Free Profile (HFP 1.6) with wideband speech capability, the RSX-GS9 provides more natural sound quality and details during wireless calls.
- Answer/End A Call: You can answer a call by pressing any button on the head unit's front-panel while there is a ring-tone from your front speakers only. To end a call, simply press the "SRC/Off" button. To reject a call, hold down any button on the front-panel for 2 seconds. There is no Caller ID during a phone call.
- Making A Call: You cannot make a call using the Sony RSX-GS9's front-panel controls or the included remote. You will need to make the call using your mobile phone and transfer the call to the head unit. Or, you can use the SongPal app on your Apple iOS or Android device to make a call via voice command.
Wireless Audio Streaming: The Sony RSX-GS9 supports wireless audio playback (AD2P) and control (AVRCP) of a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or audio player. You are able to stream your stored music library on your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, as well as music apps downloaded on your smartphone to the Sony RSX-GS9 for playback. Basic playback controls include Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track; there is no song/artist info display. Advanced music navigation and song/artist display will still need to be done from your Bluetooth-enabled mobile device.
- SBC & AAC: The Sony RSX-GS9 supports Bluetooth's standard SBC codec and Apple's AAC codec.
- LDAC Codec Support: The High-res digital media receiver also supports Sony's newest LDAC codec. LDAC is a new audio technology from Sony that allows you to enjoy high quality wireless audio via Bluetooth. With 3x the data transmitted (compared to regular Bluetooth), LDAC provides an enhanced wireless listening experience for all your music.
Note: When an incoming call or outgoing call is in progress from your Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, audio streaming will be paused so you can take your call. Once the call is finished, your streaming music will resume.
SongPal App (for Apple iOS & Android): Download Sony's free SongPal app onto your Bluetooth-paired Apple iOS (7.0+) or Android (4.0.3+) device and take control of the Sony RSX-GS9 High-res digital media receiver right from your mobile device. You'll enjoy control over a variety head unit functions, as well as navigation and seamless access to all your sources, music, apps, and more from your smartphone. The app can also be used to help customize sound & audio settings of the Sony receiver. The app even provides Voice Command functions and Notification Readouts for compatible Android smartphones.
- Receiver Sources: From the SongPal app on your smartphone device you can access and select the head unit's Tuner (AM/FM), USB, Bluetooth, and Aux sources. You'll also be able to control basic playback functions such as Play/Pause and Previous/Next Track or Station. In addition, you'll be able to view song/artist information and station identification from the SongPal app on your mobile device.
- Add-On Applications: You can integrate music, movie, navigation, and other applications that are already on your smartphone device within the SongPal app for easier access. Once an app is selected within the SongPal app, your smartphone's screen will divert to selected app. Audio of that source will be played through the RSX-GS9; any visual data will only be displayed by your iPhone or Android device. Basic playback functions such as Play/Pause and Next Track are available from the head unit; advanced control functions are still done from your smartphone device.
- Volume & Sound Adjustments: You can access the head unit's sound menu and make adjustments from the app on your iPhone or Android device. Sound adjustments included Volume Up/Down, Balance/Fader, EQ, Listening Position, DSEE HX, and Sub Level.
- Voice Recognition (Android only): You can use voice commands to ask for directions from Google maps or to play a particular song/artist in your smartphone's music library. You can even assign a music application within the SongPal app as a voice tag, so you can access it by simply speaking the name of the application. While using voice commands there will still be times where you have to make a selection on your smartphone's touchscreen.
- Notification Readout (Android only): Exclusive to Android devices, incoming SMS/Text and Twitter/Facebook/Calendar notifications are automatically read aloud through the RSX-GS9 and your vehicle's speakers to keep you safe and in touch. You can even reply to a text message via voice command and a list of preset replies.
Note: The digital media receiver offers very few front-panel controls and while the IR remote does provides much more control over the receiver, the SongPal App is required for advanced functionality.
IR Remote: The High-res digital media receiver comes supplied with an IR remote control for wireless operation. The included wireless remote allows you to control a variety of functions (not Bluetooth Phone) of the Sony receiver while keeping your eyes on the road. The digital media receiver offers very few front-panel controls, so the remote is needed for many of the head unit's functions.
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.
OEL Display: The Song RSX-GS9 High-res digital media receiver features a front-panel OEL display with white back-lit text. The OEL display indicates Source Input, Volume Level, Clock, AM/FM station number, and Menu Settings.
- Dimmer: To change the brightness of the OEL display you can set the RSX-GS9 to one of three dimmer modes; Dimmer Auto (dims the display automatically when you turn your vehicle's lights on), Dimmer Off (deactivates the dimmer), and Dimmer On (display always dim).
- Display Illumination/Clock Display: The clock only display when the head unit is in "standby" mode. Pressing the Source/Off button once will switch sources. Pressing and holding the Source/Off button for one second will turn off audio output, but the clock display and button illumination remain on. To turn the unit off completely, you must press and hold the Source/Off button for two seconds.
Note: This unit's OEL display does not provide song, artist, or album information; nor does it offer playback time or track number text display.
Digital Clarity Tuner: The Sony RSX-GS9 is equipped with a Digital Clarity Tuner for clear AM/FM stereo sound with digital processing technology. The radio features 5 memory bands to store and receive AM/FM stations. You can store up to 6 presets in each in band (FM 1-3/AM 1-2), for a total of 18 FM presets and 12 AM presets. Presets can be stored automatically using the Best Tuning Memory (BTM) feature. Presets can be accessed using the arrow keys on the front-panel or the included remote control.
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