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CD receiver with MP3/WMA/AAC playback

16 Reviews

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Item # 158GT81UW

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Our take on the Sony CDX-GT81UW

Give your portable tunes the benefit of killer sound from Sony's CDX-GT81UW CD receiver. Just plug your portable audio player into the auxiliary or USB inputs on the motorized faceplate, and pipe the music straight into the stereo. You'll enjoy fast audio and text transfer when using a USB-capable music player, and your portable stays charged while it's connected to the stereo. Just add Sony's iPod adapter to control and charge your iPod®.

Give your portable tunes the benefit of killer sound from Sony's CDX-GT81UW CD receiver. Just plug your portable audio player into the auxiliary or USB inputs on the motorized faceplate, and pipe the music straight into the stereo. You'll enjoy fast audio and text transfer when using a USB-capable music player, and your portable stays charged while it's connected to the stereo. Just add Sony's iPod adapter to control and charge your iPod®.

Sony's top-of-the-line CD deck brings out the best possible performance from your CDs. It'll play MP3, WMA, AAC, and Sony's ATRAC3 music formats, so load up a single disc for days of entertainment. Spin the volume knob, and listen to the impressive built-in amplifier bring new life and power to your speaker system.

Are your speakers down near the floor in your ride? The "Dynamic Soundstage Organizer" feature "raises" the soundstage so that the music sounds like it's coming from ear level. The 3-band parametric EQ allows you to select which high, midrange, and low frequencies you want to adjust, giving you optimal flexibility. The BBE® MP feature gives your compressed music files more body and depth, so they sound more like the original uncompressed songs.

When you need to change discs, the motorized faceplate slides down to reveal the CD slot, then glides effortlessly back into place after you insert a CD. The fluorescent display creates text that's vibrant and clear, so you'll be able read song titles with a quick glance.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD player with built-in amplifier (17 watts RMS/52 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs, including discs loaded with MP3, WMA, AAC, and ATRAC3plus music files (except Digital Rights-protected files)
    • motorized, detachable face with a fluorescent display
    • switchable blue or red button lighting
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • Dynamic Soundstage Organizer
    • EQ3 (seven preset tone curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • compatible with Sony's iPod adapter, HD Radio™ tuner, and satellite radio (tuner, subscription, and antenna required)
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary and USB inputs
    • outputs: three sets of 4-volt preamp outputs
    Other features and specs:


    christopher, camp pendleton CA

    What's in the Box:

    • AM/FM/CD receiver
    • 10-amp fuse (installed)
    • Face
    • Protective face case
    • Sleeve
    • Trim ring
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RM-X152)
    • CR2025 Lithium battery (installed in remote)
    • 2 Radio removal tools
    • 4 Flathead ISO-mount screws
    • Face security screw
    • USB port cap
    • Operating Instructions (English/Spanish)
    • Installation/Connections sheet (English/Spanish)
    • Warranty information
    • Note on installing face security screw
    • Note on USB cap
    • Contact number for installation assistance
    • Note about removing rear cover before installation

    Sony CDX-GT81UW Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (16 Reviews)

    Sony CDX-GT81UW

    Anthony from Jamaica, NY on 2/1/2008

    1997 Ford Expedition
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is one of the best cd/radio/i-pod/mp3/wma/etc I have ever bought. One thing is, I didn't buy it for myself, but for a friend who loves anthing SONY. Surprise, he absolutely loves this one. He returned the one he bought and kept this one. If anyone has a hard to please friend or yourself this IS the one to buy!! Kudos to SONY!!



    MP3, WMA, AAC

    James from Queen Creek, AZ on 11/24/2007

    I bought this deck purely for 3 features... sub out, front usb, digital formats... Whoa! I didn't realize it was this flashy. It shows video and other nifty eye candy on the face. This is a pretty cool deck and offers plenty of power. The remote is handy and though I have never had one before I find that I have learned it's usage without constant visual inspection. It has some pretty cool EQ presets. I typically listen flat but I have played with the various modes with various musical genres. If I had 1 complaint it would be the digital format support. I truly want OGG, the difference is night and day when comparing 'maximum quality' encoding between the MP3/OGG. I have not attempted an AAC encoding yet and may soon as this is noted to be better quality than MP3. Overall I am very happy with this deck, Sony did a great job on this deck, perhaps the next model will have OGG and perhaps FLAC too? ;-)



    Great, Versatile Unit w/ Cabling Flaws.

    Michael from West Coast on 11/2/2007

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The GT81UW is pretty good. The aux port and USB port are conveniently front mounted. Sony has the easiest to use interface out of several brands I've tried (JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine). The screen is easy to read in daylight and in darkness. The only cons I have aren't focused specifically at this unit though it does cover it and Sony's entire line. First, Sony's add-on auxiliary unit the XA-300. It adds another USB port, BUT the port is useless for anything but connection to a computer. It won't work with USB flash drives or any mass storage device. It only acts as a USB sound card. Second is that Sony's Unilink and Alpine's Ai-Net (the proprietary connections each manufacturer uses on their head units for connection to CD changers and other accessories) are the same. Unilink cables that come with Sony's units work when used with Alpine units and Ai-Net cables that come with Alpine's units work when used with Sony components. HOWEVER, with Alpine regardless of cable used (Unilink or Ai-Net) all signals (audio and control) are sent through that single cable. With Sony regardless of cable used (Unilink or Ai-Net) only the control signal is sent through that cable. All audio is sent through separate RCA cables. This makes Sony setups "messier" since you need the control signal cable (Unilink / Ai-Net cable) AND the audio cable (RCA cable). Sony needs to update their products so everything is sent through that single Unilink / Ai-Net cable just as Alpine does now.



    Overall Good with Minor Weaknesses

    Robb from Utah on 10/31/2007

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The reviews are accurate that criticize the short time for adjusting the settings on this deck. If you have to pause to look up at the road, you probably will have to start over. You're probably better off making any sound adjustments when you're parked and have no distractions. Some people complained of the long load time for flash drives. Sony has a 1GB drive that loads instantly, but other brands of drives do require some time to load, and it happens every time you turn the car on. My 1GB flash drive takes about 20 seconds to load, which is a bit annoying but tolerable. I'll buy another Sony flash drive next time. Other than those minor annoyances, this is a good deck with clear sound, lots of pre-programmed EQ settings, and the ability to customize EQ settings too. Plenty of pre-amp outputs and the handy front USB port, which was a major selling point for me. I'm glad I chose this unit. Despite the minor complaints, I haven't found a better deck for the price.




    hermann from WANAQUE, NEW JERSEY on 9/20/2007

    1996 Dodge Ram 3500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)




    Better Than Pioneer 5900iB

    Joseph from Memphis, TN on 9/20/2007

    1996 Mercury Grand Marquis
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    After being loyal to Pioneer for the last few years, I was hesitant to switch brands. However, I was not satisfied with my new 5900iB and when it was stolen (silly me didn't remove the faceplate one time and they got me) I took the opportunity to make a leap of faith and try this Sony.<BR><BR>I am beyond happy with the Sony. It sounds amazing with my factory speakers and the OSD gives it a further boost. It even comes with a padded hard case for the faceplate. The front-side USB/AUX ports are wonderful additions, also. I will say, however, that radio reception seemed slightly better in the Pioneer (not a significant difference).



    Good upgrade but far from Ideal

    Anonymous from Michigan on 9/6/2007

    2001 Ford Focus
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The Sony specs were the very good (s/n ratio, freq, response) and the features (XM, Ipod, USB, aux, pres). Sound is very good with stock ford focus speakers, I can definitely overdrive them easily. Bass is great. DSO is nice, the BBE is nice for some music (adds quite a bit of bass and treble and may do some phase correction.) Dont need a sub with this set up, but it would be nice. EQ doesnt allow too much mid range set up. It is a selectable 3 band, which is acceptable.<BR><BR>My main beef with this thing is the USB port (GREAT IDEA!!). I have a 10GB of music on a Passport, and by the time the thing loads, I am sometimes at my destination. It takes something like 5 minutes. It does resume, but it wont even let me listen to the radio while it is loading. That needs to be addressed. either the connection upgraded (USB 2.0) and/or the cpu in the deck upgraded. If it could read mp3 dvds that would be great also. Also along these lines it needs a search feature. If it can hold 500 albums, as it claims, are you really going to scroll 250 lines to get to the next album you want to listen to? That is not useable in my opinion. That is why I just put 10GB (about 130 albums on there) and it is still really annoying to scroll through that. You can use sub folders, but that isnt enough.<BR><BR>This could be a GREAT unit, it just needs TLC from Sony. The display (pixel density) is outdated, the EQ needs an upgrade, and the DSP (digital Signal Processing) like the BBE could be extended. I am tempted to re-eq for each album that I am listening to (some of this is Mp3 quality issue) But for instance a compressor/limiter DSP would mellow large swings in bass.



    Great sounding mid range receiver for the money!!!

    Tony R. from Florida on 7/12/2007

    For the money you spend on this radio it has a ton of features that i like. I bought it primarily for the USB input and the AUX input on the front and that by itself makes it worth it to me. The only thing I would like to see on it is built in Bluetooth but I know that would be a lot more money probably. But anyway this is my first day with it and I spent about 45 minutes tinkering with the sound controls and they are pretty easy for the most part. The default audio EQ setting labeled &quot;Edge&quot; is probably best that comes with the radio but you can tinker with it like I did and do your own custom setting. But yeah I really like this radio and am considering buying one for my other car but I might wait to see if that whole bluetooth thing works out.



    Excellent Product & Service!

    Kenn from Lake Geneva, WI on 6/12/2007

    1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have this installed in a 1995 Monte Carlo. The main reason that I ordered this was for the USB slot. I have a 2GB Sony MP3 player and it works great in here. I also chose this for the fact that it has DSO which improves the soundstage greatly. My last receiver was a Sony and it had DSO so I had to have it. The display is big compared to some other single DIN sized recievers. The fact that you can change the angle of the faceplate is great for pointing it exactly where you want it. Crutchfield is superior by far because they include everything that you will need to install your equipment. I had this installed in less than 20 minutes!



    Not as plesed as most

    Richard from Springfield IL on 5/24/2007

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I returned this stereo for a number of reasons.<BR>1) The faceplate is quite thick (at least 3/4&quot;). It stands out from the dash and looks poorly fitted, I suppose owing to the front panel USB. <BR>2) When using the functions, the display reverts to the standard display after only 2 or 3 seconds, making it difficult to use while driving. When you look up to see the road, you lose your place and have to start over. <BR>3) The controls are very sensitive, again making it difficult to use while driving, and since most of the functions require using the rotary, your hand blocks the display. Push buttons require only one finger, allowing you to see over your hand, but the rotary requires gripping which forces your hand to stand bewteen your eyes and the display (my stereo slot is high in the dash)<BR>4) It sounds &quot;tinny&quot;. After a week or so of use, I adjusted to the sound. But immediately after replacing my Alpine with this Sony, I noticed a great difference in the fullness of sound. (I never would have replaced the Alpine (model 9857), but a neighborhood thug decided he deserved it more than me.)<BR><BR>I am exchanging this Sony for the Pioneer 7800, and if that doesnt impress I guess Ill go back to Alpine. Alpines are not as versatile (having fewer bells and whistles than most in the price range), and, according to the cop who reported on my theft, they are by far the most frequently stolen, but the sound they offer right out the box is incredible. They are so rich and full at the factory settings that you really dont need any adjustments anyway. Furthermore they spare you the cheesy neon light shows so common these days, which to me at least is defini



    Good use of 21st century tech

    Michael from orlando, FL on 5/4/2007

    2003 Dodge Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I installed this radio in a 2003 Dodge Ram standard cab. Crutchfield's including adapters nd installation kits worked very well, not great. The mounting has some space between it and the dash. Besided that it looks better than I thought. No problems on the harness or ant. connection.<BR>Radio sounds good, but the preloaded eq and the ability to modify the eq is limited. Sound is clean. The interface between CD, USB and AUX is smooth and sounds great in all modes. The seek in the radio function is the fastest I had ever seen. <BR>I was looking for a USB radio, and for a few dollars more the sony fit the bill. I am using a flash drive and had no problems with the USB interface, works like expected for mp3 and wma. in the list function you can view your folders, but not the actual songs. <BR>It is a good buy.



    high quality low cost

    Lino from springville, utah on 4/28/2007

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    i bought this for its compatibility and cause its a Sony product, it has a usb port on the faceplate which u plug and play, the feature on this that mostly makes this receiver stands out is the DSO it has 4 settings off,1,2,and 3 which if u like burned CDs this lifts the sound 2 your hears beautifully and the 3 band parametric EQ eccentuates your music even more. I have 2 12 inch Comp VRs hooked up 2 a 1200 watt Kicker amp and their basically my massage therapist. b4 i had a pioneer deck and they wernt hitting as hard or loud, so the verdict is if u want great sound quality as well as system options this is the receiver to buy, oh and theres a optional Ipod adapter.




    christopher from camp pendleton CA on 4/23/2007

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)




    Good value

    Austin from Florence, KY on 3/9/2007

    2001 Nissan Pathfinder
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sony did very well with the CDX-GT81UW. Sound and build quality are very impressive for the price. You will not find an overly fancy display, or a million tweaking options on this unit. It has the options that are important for ease of use and good sound quality.<BR><BR>Pros:<BR>CD Player sound quality<BR>Front USB port loads songs quickly<BR>Solid construction<BR>Ease of use<BR><BR>Cons:<BR>No song file search on USB<BR>Playback stops when scrolling through albums on USB<BR>Lack of playlist for USB drive playback<BR>Hard to read description for small buttons<BR><BR>Overall, I'd say the Pros far outweight the Cons on this unit. Sony did not waste their time with the marketing gimick extras that look good on paper, but provide no real benefit to the customer. While a playlist would be nice for the USB playback, it's exclusion will not prevent me from highly recommending this to a friend.



    Highly Recommended

    Frank from Feeding Hills, MA on 3/1/2007

    1997 Saab 9000
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I back ordered this unit and it arrived 2 weeks BEFORE the scheduled delivery date! Hows that for service! Once shipped, delivery was prompt in 2 days as is usual for Crutchfield. <BR>I replaced an older Sony receiver so installation was really quick, literally plug and play as it used the same wiring harness connector. The USB connection on the front panel is awesome. I just directly plug in (no cord) my Sony Walkman 2 gig flash digital music player and have full control from the receiver. It keeps my flash player charged, sounds great and it accepts the ATRAC format I normally use with the Walkman Sonic Stage software. The front panel displays the song artist / title information. The display graphics and resolution are excellent. CD playback is also great. The rear connections allow for an external amp and subwoofer if you desire.



    The best sony has to offer

    Onks from New Jersey on 2/28/2007

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    i order my receiver on 25 and got it on 28 that's only three days which is way faster and when i received my receiver crutchfield gave me an installation guide and i installed my receiver when i got it ok this is for crutchfied and now for the receiver the receiver has everything that i was looking for from usb port to aux to sub preout to great sound equalizer and by the way the receiver looks good to.




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

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

    Product Research

    External Device Controls


    Drive S: The CDX-GT81UW features the Drive S chassis platform. Drive S includes the CD mechanism, audio stages, 12 volt 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.

    Motorized Detachable Face: The CDX-GT81UW features a motorized detachable face for theft prevention. The front panel can be set to 3 angled positions or flat. If you turn off the ignition without removing the face (and you're using the built-in amplifier), a caution alarm will beep for a few seconds.

    3D Fluorescent Display: The receiver has a 3-dimensional fluorescent motion display with selectable images. Choose between 3 motion displays, 5 spectrum analyzer patterns, or 3 wallpaper backgrounds. The display will also rotate among all the patterns in any of those three categories automatically, or rotate among the patterns in all categories. You can also turn the background display off, so just the numbers and text are displayed.

    Compressed Audio File Capability: In addition to audio CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, the receiver will play MP3, WMA, AAC, and ATRAC (ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus) compressed audio files stored on a CD-R or CD-RW. Below are the requirements and features for compressed audio file playback:

    • ISO: 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
      • files or tracks and folders contained in a disc: 300 (or less if a folder/file names contain many characters)
      • displayable characters for a folder/file name is 32 (Joliet) or 64 (Romeo)
    • Playback Functions:
      • Track Skip
      • Folder Skip
      • 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.

    Radio Tuning: The CDX-GT81UW 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 each in 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.
    • IF (Intermediate Frequency): You can choose "Auto" to narrow automatically the reception frequency to eliminate noise, or "Wide" to always hear FM stereo broadcasts in stereo and with full frequency signal reception.

    EQ3 Parametric: EQ3 Parametric offers 7 EQ presets, each of which has a preset value for 3 bands: Low, Middle, and High. You can choose from two center frequencies for each band: Low (60Hz or 100Hz), Mid (500Hz or 1kHz), and High (10kHz or 12.5kHz). The EQ presets and the band values are as follows:

    • Xplod: Low: +10, Middle: +4, High: +4
    • Vocal: Low: +4, Middle: +8, High: +2
    • Edge: Low: +6, Middle: -2, High: +7
    • Cruise: Low: +3, Middle: +4, High: +2
    • Space: Low: +4, Middle: +5, High: +8
    • Gravity: Low: +8, Middle: 0, High: +2
    • Custom: Adjustable -10dB to +10dB for each band

    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.

    BBE MP: The BBE MP process improves digitally compressed sound, such as MP3, by restoring and enhancing the harmonics lost through compression. BBE MP works by re-generating harmonics from the source material, effectively recovering warmth, details, and nuance.

    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.

    Preamp Outputs: The CDX-GT81UW has three pair of RCA preamp outputs for the front, rear, and subwoofer channels. The subwoofer output is non-fading and has a low pass filter with a selectable cut-off frequency of 125Hz, 78Hz, or Off (full range). The subwoofer volume is adjustable from -10 to +10 (relative to the main volume).

    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 level for the auxiliary source can be set in the menu to more closely match the head unit's other sources. The level is adjustable from -8dB to 0dB to +18dB.

    USB Input: The receiver is equipped with a Type A USB input for plugging in USB devices such as flash drives or Sony Walkman portable MP3 players. The head unit can play music files stored on the USB device in MP3, WMA, AAC, or ATRAC formats. When playing a USB device, the display can indicate track/album/group number, disc/artist/album/group/track name, elapsed playing time, text information, or clock. A USB cap is supplied to place in the USB input when it is not in use.

    Note: Compatible USB devices include Sony Flash Memory and Hard Drive Walkman MP3 players, and select flash drives from Dikom, Hama, Memorex, Integral, Philips, PNY Electronics, and SanDisk.

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

    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 all lighting a set amount of time after you turn the power off. The Auto Off feature can be set to 30 seconds, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or No.

    Illumination Mode: The CDX-GT81UW features an automatic illumination mode to dim the brightness of the display. You can choose between "Auto" (display dims automatically when vehicle lights are turned on), "On" (display dimmed) or "Off" (display at full brightness). Note: In order for the "Auto" dimmer to work, the orange/white wire in the head unit's wiring harness must be connected to the vehicle light circuit.

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

    Eject: The CD disc can be ejected with the power off. The CD player will automatically reinsert the disc if it's ejected but not removed for 15 seconds or more.

    Remote Control: This unit comes with a card-style remote commander, RM-X152. In addition to common commands, the remote also allows you to mute the audio, and select and store radio presets. The unit also has a 3.5mm minijack input for the optional RM-X4S wired rotary commander. In addition, the PAC SWI-PS steering wheel remote interface is compatible with this head unit.

    External Device Controls

    iPod Ready: You can connect an iPod to this unit and control it via the front panel controls and remote. The optional XA-110IP iPod Control Interface (item number 158XA110IP) is required.

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

    • XM Satellite Radio: To receive XM Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional CNP2000UC XM Mini Tuner (220CNP20UC) and the Sony CNP-SON1 adapter cable (package item number 700XMSON1).
    • SIRIUS Satellite Radio: To receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio, you can connect the optional SIRIUS SIR-SNY1 Satellite Tuner for Sony (item # 607SIRSNY1).
    • Auxiliary Input: A portable satellite radio receiver, such as the Delphi SkyFi3 or SIRIUS Sportster, can be connected to the head unit via the auxiliary input or the Sony XA-300 UniLink Auxiliary Input Adapter--158XA300.

      Note: A subscription is also required to receive satellite radio programming from SIRIUS or XM.

    HD Radio Ready: The CDX-GT81UW is compatible with Sony's optional XT-100HD add-on HD Tuner (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.

    Changer Controls: This unit is compatible with Sony UniLink CD/MP3 and MD changers.

    Multiple Changer Control: A maximum of 5 CD changers, 5 CD/MP3 changers, or 5 MD changers may be connected to this receiver. When connecting CD, CD/MP3 and MD changers, you may connect up to a total of 7 changers (but there must not be more than 5 of one type of changer). When connecting more than one changer to this receiver, you must use the Sony XA-C40 (item number 158XAC40) source selectors (up to three).

    Optional Auxiliary Input: In addition to the front panel aux input, you can connect another 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 (item number 158XA300). 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.


    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.