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Sony CDX-M30

Marine CD receiver with front-panel auxiliary input

11 Reviews

Item # 158CDXM30

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Our take on the Sony CDX-M30

Sony's CDX-M30 marine CD receiver keeps the good times going out on the water, offering plenty of musical sources, useful features, and sound strong enough to combat the noise of the wind and waves. And Sony builds this stereo with a flip-down face, coated circuit board, and UV-resistant paint so it'll stand up to the sun, salt, and spray.

Sony's CDX-M30 marine CD receiver keeps the good times going out on the water, offering plenty of musical sources, useful features, and sound strong enough to combat the noise of the wind and waves. And Sony builds this stereo with a flip-down face, coated circuit board, and UV-resistant paint so it'll stand up to the sun, salt, and spray.

The CDX-M30 plays store-bought and recordable CDs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, and AAC files. You can load hundreds of songs on a disc and keep the tunes flowing all day long. The 3-band equalizer tailors the output of the powerful built-in amplifier for the perfect blend of lows, mids, and highs. Add some extra kick by connecting amps or a powered subwoofer to the two sets of preamp outputs.

Not satisfied with CDs and radio? Connect your MP player to the handy front-panel auxiliary input, and listen to your playlists through your boat's system. You can also add optional HD Radio® or satellite radio tuners for more radio excitement, or hook up a Sony CD changer for extended play of your favorite discs. Use the included wireless remote to control the receiver, or connect an optional wired remote to run the show from the cockpit while the CDX-M30 stays safe below deck.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • marine CD receiver with built-in amplifier (17 watts RMS/52 peak × 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA and AAC files
    • remote control
    • flip-down face with switchable blue/red illumination
    • works with Sony Marine Commander wired remote models RM-X55M and RM-X11M
    Marine-specific features:
    • coated circuit boards, UV- and salt-resistant paint
    Audio features:
    • EQ3 (seven preset tone curves and a 3-band equalizer)
    • DSO2 for soundstage enhancement
    Expandability features:
    • compatible with optional satellite radio, HD Radio tuner, CD changer, Sony iPod® adapter
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input
    • outputs: two sets of preamp outputs with selectable rear/subwoofer output
    Other features and specs:

    What's in the Box:

    • Marine AM/FM/CD receiver with 10-amp fuse inserted into chassis
    • Face
    • Sleeve
    • Trim ring
    • Hard-plastic face case
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RM-X151)
    • CR2025 Lithium battery (installed in remote)
    • 2 Radio removal tools
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • 2 Face security screws
    • Rubber auxiliary cap
    • Operating Instructions (English/French/Spanish)
    • Installation/Connections sheet (English/French/Spanish)
    • US Limited Warranty sheet
    • Canada Consumer 1 Year Warranty
    • "Sony at your service" booklet
    • Note on installing face security screws
    • Note on installing rubber auxiliary cap

    Unit was easy to install and delivers awesome power!

    Anonymous, Eau Claire Wi.


    Sony CDX-M30 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (11 Reviews)

    Little price Big power

    Jason S from Galesville, WI on 9/4/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This stereo was on sale and when it arrived it was as advertised, It also had a couple more options that were not in the description online. It was easy to install as the instructions were easy to read and wires were clearly marked. I can't believe the power this stereo has. I put 4 6.5 round speakers in the boat and it powers them with ease and has ports to add 2 amps and 4 more speakers. I am very impressed at the quality for the money.



    Sony CDX-M30

    Anonymous from Eau Claire Wi. on 7/25/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Unit was easy to install and delivers awesome power!

    Pros: Great sound and power

    Cons: none

    Roadster Radio

    Don S. from Ashland, VA on 4/5/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound! I bought the Marine unit to put in the dash of a fiberglass 1929 Model A replica because I am (still) worried about water leaks along the bottom of the swing-out windshield. I am using four Pioneer 6 1/2" speakers, two in the kick panels and the other two in the sides of the Rumble/Trunk. I added the Crutchfield pre-amp FM antenna inside the fiberglass cowl because it is small and light. The FM antenna pulls in many stations, some I did not know about but it is not as loud as the CD player. The Pioneer speakers have built-in tweeters and you can hear every string in the Eagles Hotel California guitar solos! The radio is now the best feature of the car!

    Pros: Hopefully water proof and great sound.

    Cons: The FM is weaker than the CDs even using the pre-amp antenna.

    New school for my old school

    Jack Daniels from East Coast, USA on 2/22/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent product. Built in amplifier works great and produces great sound quality and easy install.



    Great Product, Easy Install

    Joe from Pittsburgh, PA on 9/1/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this radio to replace an existing space in my boat, so this was an easy job - about 20 minutes total time. The radio is excellent. Better yet the ordering process and delivery was superb! I had my radio two days after I ordered it. I, gladly, recommend this radio and Crutchfiled to anyone.



    Great buy

    Anonymous from Willard Ohio on 6/24/2011

    I installed this in my pontoon last week and was amazed at the sound quality that this unit puts out. I went against my better judgement a few months ago and purchased a discount Pyle receiver thinking that the price was incredible. Well, the old saying that you get what you pay for could not be more appropriate. The customer service from Crutchfield is world class....Receiver showed up on my doorstep in two days. Installation was a little tricky but not to bad. The controls are easy to locate and use. I love the flash drive hookup that I can put behind the console.



    Sony CDX-M30

    scott from montgomery, Al. on 4/22/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    sounds great! I installed it in my 1989 Jeep Wrangler. Easy to operate.



    Great Customer Service

    Molly from Saint Louis, MO on 11/11/2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this for my boyfriend for his birthday. Crutchfield was probably one of the best companies I have ever ordered from. I got free shipping and it showed up at my apartment the day after I ordered it. I will order from them again for sure.



    Outstanding Value

    KevinH from Minneapolis, MN on 9/20/2010

    I bought a used pontoon boat, and needed to replace the stock Clarion head unit and speakers that came with it. After careful research, I decided on the Sony CDX-M30 because it had good specs, a good price, and came with a wireless remote and front AUX connection. I did not care about the Ipod integration that the step up M60UI had. I bought a pair of Polk db651 speakers to go with it. The end result? All I can say is Wow. The sound blew me away. This receiver sounds absolutely fantastic. There is plenty of power, the FM radio is outstanding and the the sound shaping effects really make a difference. Plus it looks and functions great. Highly recommended.



    Nice unit

    CABOTOD from Las Vegas on 8/31/2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I really like this unit the sound is great even out of my 6 year old kenwood speakers. I have no amp and the sound is still as loud as I would want it to go.I don't really listen to music when under power ( wind and engine noise ) so I cannot give you an opinion on that . One major Con , I installed this myself and the wiring harness that comes with the unit is week to say the least . I would say the wire thickness is less than 2# test monofilament fishing line and about as brittle as uncooked angel hair pasta ???? Not sure why that is but boy did that make the install frrrrrrrustrating to say the least . I have a 25' Ebbtide deck boat and the unit plus the four speakers is all I need. I just ordered some alpine speakers and I am anxious to hear the sound with those installed . I will post and let you know .



    Using in my BBQ island

    david from San Marcos CA on 9/7/2009

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This guy replaced the Clarion marine CD receiver that came with my BBQ island. After 5 years the CD drive in the Clarion stopped working. The Clarion has a larger face plate than the Sony and since the island was already predrilled to support that, I used the existing Clarion brackets for the Sony. It sounds great paired with new Polk db 651 speakers. The same amplfier that came with the island also powers the Sony. I plug my ipod into the aux jack on the face. I am very pleased with the sound. Good FM reception and CD sound really jumps out with the built in equalizer settings.




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    AUX Input Front/Opt.Rear
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input No
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control No
    Android Control No
    Memory Card Slot N
    Bluetooth Compatible No
    Satellite Radio Ready Both
    HD Radio Optional
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano 6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch 4/3/2/1
    iPhone No
    RMS Power (CTA-2006) 17 watts
    RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
    Peak Output 52 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 4-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2 volts
    Display Color White
    Key Button Color Red or Blue
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    FM Sensitivity 9 dBf
    European Tuning No
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Marine Rated
    Display Features
    Aux/iPod Connectivity
    Radio Functions
    Disc Playback
    Audio Section
    Remote Control

    Marine Rated

    Marine Ready: The Sony CDX-M30 Marine AM/FM CD Headunit 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.

    Water Resistant Covers (optional): Even though the conformal coating makes the receiver water-resistant, it is still recommended that it be used with a universal marine cover such as the Metra (120999005B, sold separately) or Scosche (142ACM1, sold separately).

    Display Features

    Fold-Down Detachable Face: The CDX-M30 features a manual fold-down, detachable face for theft prevention and comes supplied with a protective face case. If you turn the ignition switch to the OFF position without detaching the front panel, a caution alarm will sound for a few seconds. This alarm will only sound if the built-in amplifier is being used.

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

    Dual Illumination: You can switch the CD receiver's button illumination to Red or Blue. The player's display illumination remains white (background) and black (characters).

    Contrast: This feature adjusts the contrast level of the head unit's display in 7 steps.

    Dimmer: The CDX-M30 feature a dimmer mode to dim the brightness of the display. You can choose from either "Dim On", Dim Off" or "Dim Auto". The Automatic Dimmer feature automatically dims the display when you turn your lights on.

    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.

    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.

    Aux/iPod Connectivity

    iPod Ready: The optional Sony XA-120IP iPod adapter (158XA120IP, sold separately) allows you to connect, charge, and control your compatible iPod directly from the receiver. With this interface, you will be able to play your iPod music files through the Sony receiver and have all the titling information appear on the Sony's display. All the iPod buttons will be disabled when connected to this adapter and it will be controlled from the Sony receiver.

    • Audio Playback: The Sony head unit supports audio playback of music files stored on your iPod or iPhone.
    • Music Navigation: Your iPod's clickwheel or touchscreen will be locked once it is connected to the Sony head unit. You will navigate your connected iPod via the Sony head unit's controls. You be able to browse your iPod music files by Artist, Album, or Playlist. You can also select Repeat or Random playback.
    • Information Display: The head unit will also display your iPod/iPhone's music file information, including - Track number, Elapsed playing time, Song Title, Artist Name, and Album Title.
    • Charging: While connected and the ignition switch is set to ACC or ON, the optional XA-120IP will power and charge select iPods. A Scosche passPORT charging adapter (142IFWA, sold separately) is required to charge the iPod nano (4th/5th/6th gen) and iPod touch (2nd/3rd/4th gen).
    Note: If your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it. Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results.

    iPod Compatibility Chart: The Sony CDX-M30 is "Made for iPod" compatible and supports the following iPod model features when connected to the optional iPod adapter interface (as of 9/28/2012):

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video Headunit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Info Track Info
    dock connector 3rd N N N N N N N
    4th N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N N N N N N N
    2nd N N N N N N N
    video 5th Y N Y N Y Y Y
    classic 80GB Y N Y N Y Y Y
    120GB Y N Y N Y Y Y
    160GB Y N Y N Y Y Y
    nano 1st Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y N Y Y Y
    3rd Y N Y N Y Y Y
    4th Y N Y N Y Y adapter required
    5th Y N Y N Y Y adapter required
    6th Y N Y N Y Y adapter required
    7th N N N N N N N
    touch 1st Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y N Y Y adapter required
    3rd Y N Y N Y Y adapter required
    4th Y N Y N Y Y adapter required
    5th N N N N N N N
    iPhone 2G N N N N N N N
    3G N N N N N N N
    3GS N N N N N N N
    4 N N N N N N N
    4S N N N N N N N
    5 N N N N N N N
    Note: 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 revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available.

    Front Panel Auxiliary Input: A front panel stereo 3.5mm mini-jack 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 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. 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.

    Optional Auxiliary Input: You can connect an additional auxiliary audio device (such as a portable digital memory player, cassette, MiniDisc, or VCR) when used with the optional XA-300 Unilink Auxiliary Input Adapter (158XA300, sold separately). The XA-300 uses the Unilink and Bus Audio inputs on the back of the receiver, and allows you to connect an optional CD/MD changer in addition to the auxiliary audio source.

    Radio Functions

    Radio Tuning: The CDX-M30 allows you to manual tune or seek tune AM/FM stations. In the Local Seek Mode, the unit will only tune in stations with very strong signals during Seek tuning. The Mono Mode allows you improve poor FM reception by selecting a monaural signal instead of a stereo signal. The radio features 5 memory bands to store and receive AM/FM stations. You can store up to 6 presets in each of the following bands - FM1, FM2, FM3, AM1 and AM2. Other tuner features include:

    • 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.

    Satellite Radio Ready: There are several options for connecting an optional Satellite Radio receiver to this receiver:

    • SIRIUS Satellite Radio: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SCC1 SiriusConnect Vehicle Tuner and the optional SNYSC1 Sony interface module (package item number 700SIRSONY, sold separately).
    • XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio connect the optional CNP2000UCA XM Tuner and the Sony CNP-SON1 adapter cable (package item number 700XMSON2, sold separately).
    • Portable: A portable satellite radio receiver can be connected to the head unit via the auxiliary input or the Sony XA-300 UniLink auxiliary input adapter (item number 158XA300, sold separately).
    Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.

    HD Radio Ready: The CDX-M30 is compatible with Sony's optional XT-100HD add-on HD Tuner (158XT100HD, sold separately) through its UniLink Bus connection. 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. 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). 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.

    Disc Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The CD receiver will play CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs. The head unit also supports CD Text.

    Compressed Audio File Capability: In addition to audio CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, the receiver will play MP3, WMA, and AAC compressed audio files stored on a CD-R or CD-RW. Below are the following requirements and features for compressed audio file playback:

    • ISO: The unit is compatible with the ISO 9660 level 1 / level 2 format, Joliet/Romeo in the expansion format, and Multi Session.
    • The Maximum number of:
      • folders or albums is 150 including root and empty folders (MP3, WMA, AAC)
      • files or tracks and folders contained in a disc: 300 (or less if a folder/file names contain many characters) (MP3, WMA, AAC)
      • displayable characters for a folder/file name is 32 (Joliet), or 64 (Romeo)
      • ID3 display characters: 30 or 126 characters (MP3), 63 characters (WMA), 126 characters (AAC)
    • Playback Functions:
      • Track Repeat
      • Album/Folder Repeat
      • Album/Folder Shuffle
      • Disc Shuffle

    Compressed Audio Display Information: The CD receiver's display can display the following information: Track number/Elapsed playing time, Disc/Artist Name, Album/Group Number, Album/Group Name, Track Name, Text Information and Clock.

    Note: The Album/Group number is displayed only when the album/group is changed.

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

    Eject: The CD disc can be ejected with the unit powered off. The CD player will automatically reinsert the disc if the disc is ejected and left on the lip opening of the player for 15 seconds or more.

    Mounting Angle: For flexibility of installation, this unit can be mounted between 0 (horizontal) and 45 degrees.

    Audio Section

    Drive S: The CDX-M30 features the Drive S chassis platform. Drive S includes the CD mechanism, audio stages, 12 V power supply, and tuner section. The CD mechanism includes a suspension to resist shocks, a motor that draws less power, and a fast low-current pickup that improves durability and CD playback accuracy. The 52W Peak x 4-channel S-MOSFET Power IC produces clearer, more accurate sound, less distortion, and a higher signal-to-noise ratio than previous designs.

    Amplifier Section: The head-unit's amplifier is CEA-2006 compliant and rated at 17 watts RMS x 4 channels at 4 Ohms and 1% THD. The unit is also rated at 23.2 watts per channel minimum continuous average power into 4 ohms, 4 channels driven from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with no more than 5% THD. Peak power is rated at 52 watts per channel.

    Dynamic Soundstage Organizer (DSO): Sony's Dynamic Soundstage Organizer uses proprietary circuitry to induce subtle phase shifts, simulating a sound source that is placed higher than the actual speakers in the vehicle. For example, 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 unit offers three levels of DSO, each with a larger and higher soundstage. You can store the DSO setting for each source.

    EQ3 Stage 2: You may select one of the following EQ presets: Xplod, Vocal, Edge, Cruise, Space, Gravity, Custom or Off (flat). For the Custom mode, you can adjust the following bands:

    • Low: +10 dB to -10 dB at 60 Hz
    • Middle: +10 dB to -10 dB at 1 kHz
    • High: +10 dB to -10 dB at 10 kHz

    Loudness: This feature allows you to listen to your music clearly at low volume levels by reinforcing the bass and treble. The bass level is increased to +4 dB at 100 Hz while the treble level is increased to +2 dB a 10 kHz.

    Two Pair Of Preamp Outputs: The CDX-M30 contains two pair of RCA preamp outputs - a front pair and another pair that can be set for the rear channels or for subwoofer operation. When set to subwoofer, the output becomes non-fading and a low pass filter is activated with a selectable cut-off frequency of 125Hz, 78Hz, or Off. You can adjust the subwoofer preamp output's volume level independently from the head unit's volume control from -10 to +10 in 1dB increments.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The head unit comes supplied with an IR wireless remote control (RM-X151) for easy operation.

    Wired Remote Compatibility: In addition to the supplied wireless remote, the receiver can be controlled by an optional Sony wired marine rotary commander. The optional marine remote is water resistant, so it is ideal for use on boats, where a head unit needs to be kept dry, but you need to control it from a damp remote location. The marine remote features a display which shows source and mode information, satellite radio information, and CD text information.

    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.