Sony CDX-M20

In-Dash AM/FM/CD/MP3 Marine Stereo Featuring Front 3.5mm Auxiliary Input, 3-Band EQ, SiriusXM Ready, and CEA-2006 Compliant Amplifier


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Sony CDX-M20

Sony CDX-M20 - Marine CD Receiver

Enjoy your MP3/WMA files from a CD or MP3 player with the Sony® CDX-M20 Marine receiver. Plug in your Smartphone, iPod or Walkman player to the front 3.5mm auxiliary input or connect easily to SiriusXM™* satellite radio to stream your favorite channels on the go. Plus experience great sound quality from the built-in powerful 52x4 high power amplifier. When you’re ready to expand your system, the CDX-M20 offers selectable rear or subwoofer pre-amp RCA outputs for external amplifiers. Set the built in electronic HPF/LPF crossovers to improve sound quality and reduce system distortion. In addition, the 3 band EQ3 allows users to customize the sound centered at 60 Hz, 1000 Hz and 10 kHz frequencies.

Take the party anywhere, the Sony® CDX-M20 is designed with a UV Resistant front panel coating that meets ASTM G154 standards. This protects the faceplate from discoloration often caused by the Sun. Also, Conformal coated circuit boards protect the electronic assembly from damage due to contamination, salt spray, moisture, fungus, dust and corrosion caused by harsh or extreme environments.

2 Volt Preamp Outputs

2 Volt Preamp Outputs with HPF/LPF

The Sony® CDX-M20 is equipped with 2V selectable preouts that allow you to expand your audio system and add a bit of extra power to your stage. Most audio systems lack the simplicity of low-end frequencies provided by a subwoofer; the pair of preouts are perfect for adding a Monoblock to run a Subwoofer and fill in that deficiency. Many modern amplifiers now have the ability to route the signals connected to the “Front” inputs to the Front, Rear and Subwoofer channels, making the set perfect for such a setup.

 3.5mm Front Auxiliary Input

Universal 3.5mm Front Auxiliary Input

It doesn't get more universal than a 3.5mm input. The Sony® CDX-M20 is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm stereo auxiliary input. A party shouldn't have to wait for you to fumble with Bluetooth pins and unreliable signals. Simply connect a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable from your MP3 Player, Smartphone or iPod directly to the conveniently located Front input. No need to worry about compatibility, most modern smartphones use a universal "headphone" output!

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ready

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ready

Satellite radio has gained much momentum in the new millennium and many companies have emerged as a result. SiriusXM is by far the go to company for adding Satellite radio to your vehicle or boat. With the optional SiriusXM Radio Package, open up the freedom of exploring 50 world class news, sports, and entertainment stations such as NASCAR, NFL, House of Blues, Speedvision, CNBC, CNN, Howard Stern and much more.

General Features:






  • In-dash AM/FM, CD, MP3, WMA Receiver with Remote
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
  • Power Output:
    • Peak: 52 watts x 4 channels
    • RMS: 17 watts x 4 channels
  • CD Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 120 dB
  • Theft-deterrent, detachable face plate
  • Convenient wireless remote (RM-X201) included
  • Maintains looks and functions even after prolonged exposure to sun
  • Ultraviolet Resistant Coating meets ASTM G154 standards
  • Conformal coated circuit boards protects against elements
  • Single-line Dot-Matrix displays clock, station ID & track data
  • MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album)
  • Blue illuminated button lighting
  • 12 hour clock display
  • Liquid-resistant Marine Stereo Covers Available, Sold Separately
  • Authorized Internet Dealer
  • 1-year Manufacturer's Warranty

Playback and Audio Features:

  • 2 Volt rear/sub selectable preamp outputs with HPF/LPF
  • Selectable High Pass Filter : 80, 100, 120, 140 or 160 Hz
  • Selectable Low Pass Filter : 80, 100, 120, 140 or 160 Hz
  • 3 band EQ w/ +/-10 dB adjustment at 60 Hz, 1 kHz & 10 kHz
  • 7 selectable tone curves: 6 Preset, 1 User
  • 24-bit digital to analog converter for superb sound quality
  • Dynamic Reality AMP for more realistic sound
  • Playback of CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 & WMA
  • Electronic Shock Protection (ESP)
  • AM/FM Tuner Type : SSIR-EXA with RDS & 18FM/12AM preset
  • Tuner Frequency Range : FM 87.5-107.9 / AM 530-1710
  • Digital Clarity Tuner for clear reception of radio
  • Search stations by program type

Expandability Options:

  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ready: SiriusXM Radio Package and subscription required and sold separately
  • Front Auxiliary Input: 3.5mm headphone jack allows connection to portable media devices such as MP3 players
  • Marine Remote Ready: Sony RM-X11M required and sold separately

Check out the Sony CDX-M20 User Manual

Product History:

Sony CDX-M20 thumbnail
(newest, current model)
Sony CDX-M10 thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Sony CDX-M20)

In-Dash Receiver Specifications

Receiver Size

Single DIN: 1 DIN dimensions will work with all single DIN installation kits we have to offer. Single DIN radios are the most common size for after-market stereos.

Single DIN slot with flip-out screen: The DIN stereo includes a retractable, flip-out screen. Before purchasing, make measurements to be sure there is no interference with dash accessories such as A/C vents or shift levers.

Single DIN slot with a larger face: Standard single DIN size, but the display is larger then the standard single DIN size. Due to the nature of the larger face, problems may arise when installing in particular vehicles. These stereos are great for single DIN slots where you want a larger screen.

1.5 DIN: This size is very uncommon in vehicles, however this size opening is most commonly found in Chrysler and Chevrolet vehicles.

Double DIN: Approximately 4-inches in height, this size is becoming more common every year. Prior to 2000, this size was typically only found in Japanese vehicles such as those made by Honda or Toyota. Now, it is becoming more popular for many vehicles to be fit with a Double DIN opening.

Single DIN
Faceplate Security

Detachable / Removable faceplate security: The most common anti-theft feature. It allows you to take the faceplate with you, thus disallowing operation, which deters theft.

Security Codes: Mainly a feature in high end video units which do not have a detachable face / screen. Once the unit is uninstalled (or stolen), a security code (or PIN) is required upon reinstallation. Though you no longer have your unit after the theft, the thief also does not have your security code, which makes the unit useless. The hope is the thief knows which units have security codes and he/she chooses not to steal your unit because of the security code.

Ghost technology: This is not commonly used, but can be found primarily in a select number of 2004-2005 head units. It creates an illusion that no unit is installed by appearing completely black when turned off. Potential thieves may steer clear because it appears as though no head unit is installed.

Anti-theft covers: Similar to ghost and hiding faces because they only create an illusion that the face/unit is not in place.

ESN: Stands for Electronic Serial Number. Allows the disabling of the radio and allows tracking if it is stolen.

Motorized Faceplate
Some in-dash car stereos feature a motorized faceplate that moves to expose a CD or DVD slot. This is a convenient feature that allows the front display to be larger and easier to read. The positioning of the monitor gives you control over the angle you would like to view information on the stereo.
Remote Control
Allows control of specific features and functions from a remote control. Typically they are used to prevent button wear on your radio, or to allow easier navigation of menus.
Peak Power Output
This form of power rating refers to the maximum amount of power an electronic device can handle or output in an instant without damage occurring. Often times this maximum is achieved during a brief musical burst, such as a drum accent, or low bass hit.

Some manufacturers display peak power ratings on the face of their products to increase the appeal to consumers. The RMS power rating is more accurate, and we recommend using it for product comparison.

52 watts x 4 channels
RMS Power Output
The amount of continuous power, measured in watts, that an amplifier produces is called RMS power. The higher the RMS rating, the louder and cleaner your music sounds. The RMS output figure is much more accurate than the peak rating when comparing products.
17 watts x 4 channels
Preamp RCA Outputs
RCA outputs, commonly known as preamp outputs, allow you to connect one or sometimes multiple external amplifiers. An in-dash receiver will commonly have one, two or three sets of RCA outputs that can be used to connect external amplifiers and other components. One pair of RCA outputs will typically provide a full range signal that can be used for most subwoofer or speaker amplifiers. Two pairs of RCA outputs can typically be configured as four full range signals, or also as two full range and two subwoofer signals. Three sets of RCA outputs will almost always produce four speaker signals and two subwoofer signals for use with multiple amplifiers.
1 Pair (Switchable Rear/Subwoofer)
Preamp Voltage
The preamp output rating is measured in volts (V). The higher the rating, the stronger the signal. This results in less unwanted noise being picked up.
2 volts
Built-In Equalizer
The number of graphic or parametric equalizer bands the stereo receiver is equipped with. The more EQ options, the more you will be able to adjust your music to your liking.
3-band parametric equalizer
Display Type
The type of display on your receiver refers to the monitor that is used to display the source information such as song names, radio stations, or track times.

Dot-Matrix Text Display: A simple display which uses dots in specific illuminated color(s) to light up and form letters or numbers that are displayed on the receiver.

Graphic or Motion Display: Typically found in mid to high-end receivers and give your text information and receiver more life by adding motion, backgrounds, or multiple colors to your display. There are types of graphic displays such as 3D Graphic, Motion, and OEL (Organic Electroluminescent) displays. They can range from one color to full color displays and typically allow you to select from one of many built-in animations, background images, screensavers or other graphics to enhance your experience and add an extra bit of personality to your system. Some units also come with software that allow you to load your own customizable pictures or animations.

LCD Monitor Display: Can be as small as 2" or as large as 10". Some LCD displays are motorized for angle adjustment. LCD monitors display full motion video playback as well as your standard text such as track status, radio station information and more depending on the receiver's features.

Dot-Matrix Text Display
Display Color
The display color refers to the color of the text and or graphics on the receiver.

Multi-Color: When more than one color is on the display, for example one part of the text is white, while the other part is blue.

Variable-Color: The display colors can be changed by the user. If the default color of text/display is blue for example, the user can change the settings to where the color turns to red. Variable color displays are typically described in detail in the item's description.

TFT-LCD Display: In-dash receivers with a video screen that display multiple colors and often times video such as DVD, navigation or other video sources.

Button Color
Refers to the color of the physical buttons on the unit.
CD Signal-to-Noise
CD Signal-to-Noise Ratio is a key specification that is often overlooked by newbies. The CD S/N Ratio measures how well the CD player silences background noise. Higher ratings in decibels (dB) indicates less noise, and generally a cleaner signal.
120 dB
CEA-2006 Compliant
Amplifiers that have been tested to meet specific standards. When a car amplifier meets these standards, you can be sure that it will be able to produce the amount of power specified by the official CEA-2006 rating. Usually, these rating consist of the following items:
  • RMS Power
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio

This rating applies to both external car amplifiers, as well as the amplifiers inside of in-dash stereos.


Playback Features

AM/FM Tuner
Most in-dash CD players have AM/FM playback allowing you listen to your favorite local radio stations.
FM Presets
The number of FM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
AM Presets
The number of AM radio stations that can be stored as presets.
Radio Data System (RDS)
Receivers with Radio Data System (RDS) tuners can receive digital broadcast information about the FM radio station including program name, time and station identification. RDS enables your receiver to display text messages that many FM stations include on a sub-carrier signal within their normal broadcast signal. Some RDS tuners can even break in with traffic alerts or emergency broadcasts when you're listening to a CD.
CD-R/RW Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play finalized CD-R discs and/or CD-RW discs.
MP3 Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play discs encoded with MP3 files. To burn a MP3 encoded disc, use the "data" mode on your CD Recorder and finalize the session and/or CD.
WMA Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the CD player will play discs encoded with WMA files. To burn a WMA encoded disc, use the "data" mode on your CD Recorder and finalize the session and/or CD.
DVD / Video Playback
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver will play DVD (or other listed) video disc formats. Unless otherwise noted, the unit is not guaranteed to play recorded DVDs.
Dual Zone
Dual zone means the stereo is capable of playing multiple audio or video sources between two separate locations.

Please refer to the item description for more details on how dual zone works specifically to the unit you are viewing.

Hi-Res Audio Compatible
This feature refers to if the product is capable of Hi-Res Audio (HRA) playback.

Audio / Video Inputs

USB Input
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver features an input to connect a USB device via standard USB or mini-USB. The USB input may be a connection on the front or rear of the unit with an extension cable for connecting devices to the receiver. Some units have an optional input that allows for a USB adapter to be purchased separately and used with the unit.
Additional Audio/Video Inputs
These inputs enable the unit to receive an audio or video signal from a separate source. There are many different types of connections and ways to accomplish this. Most common are RCA Composite cables and 3.5mm mini-jack plugs.

RCA Composite Inputs
These are your typical red, white, and yellow RCA composite cables that are common among devices with audio and video inputs. The red and white cables are dedicated for audio. The red cable is for the right channel and the white is for the left channel. The yellow cable is specifically for the video signal. Because this type of auxiliary cable contains 2 channels of audio, it will support stereo sound.

This is commonly referred to as a mini-jack or a headphone jack. It is a 3.5mm plug that transfers audio only. There is a right and left audio channel on the plug which allows for stereo sound playback.

3.5mm AV Input
These plugs look similar to the common 3.5mm mini-jack, however they carry a third channel dedicated for video.

This means that an auxiliary input is possible, but only with the use of an optional accessory. These optional adapters will sometimes use the CD Changer port or other port on the back of a unit that might restrict the use of other expandability features. These accessories are typically sold separately.

Front 3.5mm Audio Input

Expandability Features

Built-in navigation is a convenient feature that allows the driver to receive driving directions and guidance.

Some in-dash head units are built-in with the navigation features, while others require an add on navigation box. Other navigation options include portable navigation units that you can take with you or attach to the dash of your vehicle.

Compatible Smartphones
Some stereos work with iOS (Apple) or Android smartphone operating systems, while some stereos work with both or neither. Find out here which operating systems this stereo is compatible with.
iPhone (iOS)
Audio/Video Outputs
Audio/Video outputs are typically used to connect an overhead monitor to an aftermarket stereo. This is the number of A/V outputs that the item has. These outputs are usually RCA Composite cables.

RCA Composite Outputs
These are your typical red, white, and yellow RCA composite cables that are common among devices with audio and video inputs. The red and white cables are dedicated for audio. The red cable is for the right channel and the white is for the left channel. The yellow cable is specifically for the video signal. Because this type of auxiliary cable contains 2 channels of audio, it will support stereo sound.

Satellite Radio
This feature signifies whether or not the receiver is compatible with XM or Sirius Satellite Radio. "Optional" means while the receiver is capable of SIRIUS/XM playback and connectivity, you will still need to purchase an additional satellite tuner, adapter, and/or antenna.
Optional - SiriusXM (Accessory required and sold separately)
HD Radio
This feature refers to whether or not the receiver is capable of receiving high-definition digital HD Radio broadcasts by either a built-in HD Radio tuner, or more commonly with the purchase of an optional HD Radio tuner box. Receivers which are HD Radio Ready generally require an additional purchase of a separate tuner.
Bluetooth Connectivity
This feature refers to whether or not the head unit is able to connect to a hands-free Bluetooth device. Head units that are Bluetooth ready typically require the purchase of an optional adapter or accessory that connects to the rear of the head unit. This optional accessory allows you to accept phone calls through your head unit and speakers. Some head units have built-in Bluetooth hands free capabilities with an included remote-mount microphone or built-in microphone.
A2DP Music Streaming
The Advanced Audio Distribution Profile will wirelessly stream music and other audio from an A2DP compatible device.
Steering Wheel Control Compatible
In order to retain a vehicle's factory steering wheel remote controls, a wired-remote input is needed on the aftermarket stereo.

If "Yes", then the aftermarket stereo is compatible with steering wheel remote controls. If an additional accessory is required for the steering wheel controls to work properly, a compatible piece will be listed.

Yes (Accessory required and sold separately)
CD Changer Controls
This feature signifies whether or not the receiver has the ability to control a CD Changer. If a receiver supports this function, it is usually compatible with a same-brand CD changer without the need for an extra adapter.
Rear View Camera Input
Indicates if an in-dash multimedia unit has a dedicated video input for rear view cameras. These inputs allow you to plug the camera to the back of the unit to receive the cameras video signal. Usually the camera signal is transferred through an RCA cable connection.
Memory Card Reader
Whether or not the receiver has a built-in input for removable memory cards such as SD (Secure Digital) cards or MMC (Multimedia) cards.

Smartphone Integration

iPod Audio Integration
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an iPod and allow for audio control and playback of the iPod through the head unit. Head units that have iPod connectivity allow your iPod to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard iPod-to-USB charging/connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own iPod-to-USB cable.
iPod Video Connection
This refers to whether or not the receiver can connect to an iPod and allow for video control and playback of the iPod through the head unit. Head units that have iPod connectivity allow your iPod to be connected and controlled via the head unit, and they will typically connect through the USB input combined with your standard iPod-to-USB charging/connection cable. We encourage you to read the description of the head unit to see if an adapter is required or included, or if you can simply use your own iPod-to-USB cable.

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
1 year
Warranty Provider

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Average Attribution Rating

Big Dave

Tampa, FL

Good Value for a boat

September 17, 2013

Good Value for a boat, being in FL, the salt take a toll. So this is priced at the low end, and can be replaced with out much pain.

75 of 86 found this helpful

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Englewood, Florida

Easy install

February 2, 2014

Arrived as promised, brand new in sealed carton. Replaced my older
Sony radio with tape player. Fit perfect and used same old connections.
Sound is great, but found a blown speaker in the two speaker system.
Will order some new speakers. Sony I think ? So far so good. I would
reccomend this company to anyone searching.

76 of 90 found this helpful

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riceville tenn

great radio

February 22, 2014

the radio works great looksgood in the truck it is easy to work

75 of 89 found this helpful

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Marenisco, MI

Pleased so far.

February 20, 2014

I've installed this radio in my boat. I needed good reception in a weak signal area. The radio sounds great in my garage. The water is still too hard to test it in the Michigan UP where I will use it. I did find that a whip antennae works much better than a 4 foot VHF antennae. Too new to evaluate durability

66 of 79 found this helpful

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Gadsden, AL

Rare Gem - Sony CDXM20

September 18, 2013

LCD makers obviously haven't leaped that last hurdle -- making a display easily seen in bright daylight. Often we can't even see what we are taking a picture of in brilliant sunshine. We snap away at the ladies on the beach with our fancy smartphones trusting to dumb luck.

Problem is -- those same unthinking smartphone designers are putting the same displays in car stereos, and here we have glare coming not just from one direction, but from every reflective surface inside the car and out. Ever glance to see what station you're on, and find yourself doing the Egyptian neck-stretching dance to find a clear shot at the radio display? And even when you find it, it's a bunch of swirly mush with the salient numbers hidden in there somewhere?

You thought that display looked SO KEWL at the stereo dealer, and the dealer knew that. Betcha Seal teams don't have equipment with silly displays like that. Life-and-death means being able to SEE what you're doing.

Let's go. Let's step up to the Sony CDXM20. Totally unfussy. Black design fits anywhere. Latest electronics for tuning, CD playing, music reproduction, etc. Fits easily into a standard DIN mount. Even comes with a nifty remote control! And the best part -- a simple, black-on-white, backlit, big blocky LCD display. The type that only gets clearer when the ambient light becomes brighter.

Go ahead, race down the Interstate playing with the radio remote. A quick glance at this display tells you immediately what station you've hit, what time it is, or what mp3 is playing -- all without straining and confusion. You may have just made your driving 100% safer.

It says it's a "marine" radio. Ignore that. Misguided marketing. It's a radio for those of us who just like to see what's going on. For $109.99 it is absolutely a no-brainer.

66 of 80 found this helpful

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Kingstree, SC

Best choice ever!!

August 18, 2015

I purchase this for my golf cart. Sound is great. Easy to install! Best purchase I ever made!

17 of 20 found this helpful

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Panora, Iowa

Perfect replacement

August 10, 2015

Very quick to ship the radio. A perfect replacement for my older boat radio that is no longer made but one thing Sony does well is that all their new equipment will use the same plug in for all equipment. My remote in the boat even worked with the new radio. Very satisfied with my purchase.

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Accessory Tools and Products

Accessories added

6 Ft. 3.5mm to 3.5mm Aux Cable (Black)

2 meter (6 feet) Aux to Aux Cable Connector, Great for iPod / MP3 Player headphone jack connection to car stereo aux input.

Your Price $4.99


Universal Bluetooth Audio Receiver for Cars/Vehicles with Aux Output (N-Series)

Your Price $19.99

SiriusXM SXV300V1

Next Gen Vehicle Tuner for adding SiriusXM Satellite Radio to any SiriusXM-ready car stereo

Your Price $54.99

Scosche TK12 Car Stereo Installation Kit

Includes panel removal tool, wire cutter/stripper, test light, RCA cable runner, screwdriver, and more!

Your Price $20.99

18 Butt Connectors, 2 Ring Terminals, and Zip Ties

Great for connecting your car stereo wires to the harness.

Your Price $4.99

Install Bay BS9HD

Heavy Duty Metal Mounting Backstrap

Your Price $1.29

SoundKase DFC1X

Soft-Sided Nylon Receiver Faceplate Case

Your Price $6.99

Scosche SPL Meter

Monitor the noise level of your new car audio system with this SPL meter measuring from 60-135 dB.

Your Price $33.95

Browse 3 questions and 21 answers
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Why did you choose this?
Sonic Electronix Store
good price
WILLIAM P on Oct 22, 2015
Sony makes a quality marine CD player that will hopefully give us years of trouble free enjoyment. Ya'll also had the best price I could find on this particular unit. Thanks!
Stephen B on Sep 29, 2015
because I trust sony not the cheapest not the most expensive
william m on Sep 30, 2015
We have always had excellent luck with sony!
jeanne d on Sep 25, 2015
Does the CD skip in rough water ? Is the LCD display Visable in Sunlight ?
A shopper on Nov 1, 2015
Best Answer: Not tested the rough water since I don't use CDs but hook up to aux to play off of iPhone. The LCD display is a problem and need to shade display to see it.
Reply · Report · Thomas K on Nov 2, 2015
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
I have a sun tracker pontoon boat i am looking at this stereo for in dash fitting and can you recommend GOOD wireless speakers for this stereo? or does this stereo capable of bluetooth?
BUSY BOB on Jul 23, 2015
Best Answer: Hello Robert,

The headunit is not capable of Transmitting a wireless audio signal, so it cannot stream audio to 'wireless speakers' . In fact, there aren't any wireless speakers for mobile audio, in our catalog. This headunit does Not have bluetooth, but those that do are intended to stream audio TO the headunit, not FROM it. We highly recommend consulting an installer before proceeding and/or calling our sales team for more information.
Reply · Report · Rick MStaff on Jul 23, 2015
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)

Product Summary


Model Number






Internal SKU


Internal Product ID


Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Sony CDX-M20