I have a starmate 5 hooked up through line audio to a good aftermarket system. Quality is better than FM most of the time, but surely not CD quality. The most annoying thing about it is that high hats and other high-pitch instruments get hit by the compression, and it sounds like they are being played underwater or through a sewer pipe. It's definitely not a system for audiophiles, there is more distortion than FM but without the fading, hiss, interference and other things that degrade FM. I would say overall slightly better than FM.
You must have some real crappy FM stations in your area or a junk FM tuner; FM sounds better than sat radio. Noise? FM s&r is around 70db, most won't notice it and with the dynamic compression that most stations use, unnoticeable.
Freg response for both is the same.
stereo separation? Maybe the same, maybe better for FM. Interestingly, sat radio uses FM style multiplexing as part of its cuisinart sound processing. Stereo is
multiplexed into one channel, then multiplexed back into stereo at the player. Why? Because one channel uses less bandwith.
Dynamic range- sat is always, always, always horrible. FM can be better, all depends on the station.
Lossy compression- FM far, far superior because they don't compress it. Sat reduces talk/music to as low as 28bps making everything sound unnatural, irritating, etc. Call them up and complain and they tell you to turn treble up- haha!
I haven't used a Sirius sat receiver for some time. I had listened not too long ago on a Best Buy demo station and even on the small speakers the audio was horribly artifacted. It amazes me still when someone reports the Sirius sat audio as sounding good. The quality of the receiver and the audio system will not correct the damage done by low bitbrate PAC without SBR. Some people I've met do not seem to hear data compression artifacts. Lossy compression uses psychoacoustics to minimize the loss of aural spectral information so the sensitivity likely varies.
the quiet intro is as loud as the the rest of the song. Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing", Stings part in the middle is as loud as the crescendo when the
Pandora gives dynamic range all for the price of $ 0.00.
I have a 6 month trial so if no improvement after that so long Sirius.
This underwater effect some of you are hearing on certain stations is real and is NOT because of our equipment. It may be due to our location and the particular satellite serving our area. I'll use my iPhone and stream TuneIn over Bluetooth before I subject myself to Sirius.
I searched for answers and found them here, supporting my own observations. I have subscribed to Sirius for about 8 years. First with a portable unit for my car purchased at Radio Shack, then through an IGig radio in my dodge and a Sportster in my home. (I was always a little angry that an Internet subscription did not come with my two radio subscription). I realized the fidelity was not up to par with FM\CD quality immediately when first, the volume was lacking, and two, happened upon same song being played on Sirius and an FM station at the same time. The difference I heard between he FM station and the Sat station playing the same song was like the difference between lets say something like AM Stereo (never heard AM stereo, but assume it to be better than mono AM) and playing a CD. I was OK with this as I was in the beginning of my romantic '70's Retro Interlude, lol.
Recently, in the past six months I guess, I have noticed the quality has taken a nose dive, mostly noticeable in quite musical passages when the sound seems to be bubbling up through bucket of water. This is the same on both my car radio (Igig, stamped with the Sirius logo), and my home sportster with outdoor antenna. Now, to further support my observations, my wife has a new Toyota with an XM subscription. Her FM and XM sound equally good.
If it is a question of bandwith/bitrate, I would vote for less channels. If the quality was improved to CD, with fewer channels I would even pay more! Do we really need five different classic rock channels, five (very bad) comedy channels? I enjoy Howard sometimes, but Howard 101? (extremely awful). That is a total waste of energized particles.
My interlude, as so my Sirius subscription has come to an end.
Thanks for giving me this platform,
How do we improve the sound quality of SiriusXM? In particular for those with Sirius branded receivers. Something needs to be done.
Nothing can be done. In all fairness, I did try the online xm/siris app on my iphone and it sounded much better, digital compression was almost as good as
Pandora. However, it still had that bricked dynamic compression that made louds and softs the same, which bugged me. GIve Pandora a try, it is amazing
when compared to sat radio. When I tried Pandora, I cancelled my xm subscription that week.
If you have a compressed music enhance function on your HU, that could help. I have a Clarion 609 with three different
levels of sound "restoration" and it really helps a lot.
You realize TV satellite dishes are like 2 feet in diameter and the satellite radio antenna is an inch or 2 (if even that).
They have pretty much sealed the deal for me. The only reason I subscribe to SiriusXm is for sports. Mainly live playbyplay. When I first subscribed you could get almost all college football games home and away broadcast. Now it is pretty much just the home team broadcast with a few exceptions. The sound quality on these broadcasts is atrocious.
I have always been able to get a deal on my subscriptions so I have remained a subscriber. If things don't change I will probably not renew.
Perhaps I misremembered.
I just bought a new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and am coming from a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. The Cobalt came with XM and for 5 years now I have really liked the sound quality from that. Now that I have the Grand Cherokee which has a Sirius receiver, I am disgusted with the sound quality. The compression of the Sirius system is horrid.
I just want to echo this experience. I've been an XM subscriber since 2001 or 2002 and through a succession of vehicles and receivers have always been very happy with it. But I just bought a new BMW. The premium sound system is very nice, but Sirius is the only sat radio option. The bitrate compression artifacts are terrible! I can hardly listen to music on this thing, and even BBC World Service sounds bad.
And since I'm complaining about Sirius vs the joys of XM, let me just add that I'm one of the handful of folks who actually listens to CSPAN radio on XM, and I really miss it on Sirius. So far I've not found anything unique to Sirius to love.
I have the top of the line sound system on the new Ford, but no question that the aftermarket XM unit in my other Ford is definitely way better. I am ok listening to MP3s for convenience, but still buy CDs rather than MP3 downloads. But as another said; The quality is like comparing a 320kbps MP3 to AM radio. Perhaps it is the Sirius signal being so much worse than XM. I'm pretty pissed. I was really looking forward to a BETTER QUALITY signal with the new Ford... quite the opposite.
I won't continue the Sirius after the trial. Trying to push this sh#t out to customers, Sirius should be ashamed. Raise your finger high.