PerformanceWith the HD tuner connected, the CDX-GT520 makes HD Radio its own separate source, giving drivers the chance to browse through only those radio stations that broadcast an HD signal. While we like this segmentation of HD Radio, it appears to come at the cost of all other AM and FM analog stations, which are no longer available with the HD tuner connected. On the positive side, HD Radio output is noticeably crisper than standard FM radio, and we do like the track, artist, and channel text information that accompanies most HD broadcasts. One thing we did notice, however, is that, while the CDX-GT520’s HD Radio output is clear, its volume range is much lower than that for disc-based audio.
For MP3-, WMA-, and AAC-disc playback, the CDX-GT520 displays up to 10 characters of ID3-tag information for artist, album, and folder, which can be cycled through using the Display button. Using the Shuffle button, drivers can shuffle songs within a specific album; albums on a disc; or all songs in all albums on a disc.
In sumAs a standalone device, the CDX-GT520 is a simple, user-friendly in-dash receiver with support for a good range of digital audio sources and some decent audio-customization features. While we like the fact that the stereo is able to act as an HD Radio tuner, we are less than impressed with the necessity for Sony’s expensive, clunky XT-100HD module.