Sirius or XM. Sound Quality and Future Enhancments - Page 6 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 164 Old 02-22-2014, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by sfm View Post

Simply baffled by all of these "sounds good" comments in reference to Sirius... I have an upgraded sound system in my '13 Audi which is only ok (sorry but IMO there is no such thing as a good sound system in a car) and mp3's from an ipod/memory card or a good FM station sound significantly better than the crap from Sirius. Needless to say (though I will) I did not renew Sirius once the "free" subscription expired.
Same situation here. I have a 2013 Audi. Sirius XM is far worse sounding than my iPhone (bluetooth and hard wired), HD FM radio, and my SD memory card. It's not even in the same league as standard FM radio. It sounds muddled and lacks detail. They keep sending me promotions to reactivate my account for $25 (for 6 months of service), but it just isn't worth $5/mon to me. I get aggravated with anything other than talk radio programs on Sirius XM.

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post #152 of 164 Old 02-25-2014, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary J View Post

Yes they need a trip to the Bandwidth 'R Us store.

Sums it all up right there... I'll give 'em $5 a month for it. That's about it.

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post #153 of 164 Old 02-27-2014, 03:29 PM
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Once again, they're not able to just buy more bandwidth. There is only a certain amount of bandwidth allocated for satellite radio in the US, and Sirius and XM already have all of it. They need to better utilize the bandwidth that they have by shutting down Sirius. They were supposedly going to do this, but nothing much has happened.

http://xmfan.net/viewtopic.php?t=115557&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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post #154 of 164 Old 02-27-2014, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rc05 View Post

Once again, they're not able to just buy more bandwidth. There is only a certain amount of bandwidth allocated for satellite radio in the US, and Sirius and XM already have all of it. They need to better utilize the bandwidth that they have by shutting down Sirius. They were supposedly going to do this, but nothing much has happened.

http://xmfan.net/viewtopic.php?t=115557&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

If I read that thread correctly, they were discussing shutting down Sirius TERRESTRIAL. Not the satellite. Couldn't do that, anyway, without losing half of the subscriber base. I don't see them replacing every existing Sirius radio. Sirius radios will not tune XM. The two transmission formats are incompatible. And shutting off around half of the satellite radios would pretty much bankrupt the company.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #155 of 164 Old 02-27-2014, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

If I read that thread correctly, they were discussing shutting down Sirius TERRESTRIAL. Not the satellite. Couldn't do that, anyway, without losing half of the subscriber base. I don't see them replacing every existing Sirius radio. Sirius radios will not tune XM. The two transmission formats are incompatible. And shutting off around half of the satellite radios would pretty much bankrupt the company.

If you look at the 2015 Goal at the bottom, you'll see that the "Sirius Platform" is phased out and "Sirius 1.0 Tuners No Longer Compatible" (which refers to all Sirius radios). You're absolutely right that they would have to replace every existing Sirius radio, which is why they probably aren't going to do this anytime soon. They're still selling Sirius radios and putting them in cars today! But in the context of getting more bandwidth, this is pretty much the only feasible option outside of acquiring and getting approval for more bandwidth elsewhere and making new radios anyway.
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post #156 of 164 Old 02-27-2014, 04:15 PM
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With a given amount of bandwidth better channel quality can be achieved with less channels. Marketing people have known for a long time (just as for TV broadcast) that people prefer more channel choices to channel quality. as unpopular as that may be on this forum.
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post #157 of 164 Old 02-27-2014, 05:00 PM
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Yeah, XM launched with only 100 channels and they sounded great! I doubt they're gonna axe channels though frown.gif. During last baseball season (I think) they had to switch some of the music channels to mono temporarily cause they were out of bandwidth.
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post #158 of 164 Old 02-28-2014, 02:45 AM
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If I remember correctly, the shutdown of the Sirius side turned out to be more rumor than fact, granted, a widely spread rumor that I believed at the time as did plenty of others.

They are letting the Sirius satellites finish up their service and not replacing them in their polar orbits. All of the new sats are going to be geosynchronous which I think is unfortunate. I'd have much preferred that they keep both because geosynchronous works well for home receivers while the polar orbit works really well for mobile receivers.

They could, theoretically, double their bandwidth by replacing all of the Sirius radios with new radios that receive from both spectrums (XM & Sirius) and then just transmit XM on the normal XM spectrum and something like "XM+" on the old Sirius spectrum (same codec as XM - just on the old Sirius Spectrum). Then they could offer new radios that could see both Spectrums, understand that some channels come from "XM" and others come from "Sirius" and use the same codec for both.

I don't see them doing that.

As it is, and I think someone mentioned this above, you're still seeing Sirius tuners in new cars. You can still buy Sirius PNP units at the stores (somewhere in the back in the clearance section next to the XM radios - it's funny how they're no longer front and center).

My guess is that they'll just keep the status quo for the foreseeable future. They have their subscribers. They'll just (mostly) simulcast across the two spectrums.
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post #159 of 164 Old 04-09-2014, 11:50 AM
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Hey Everyone - back to my BMW 428 XM vs Sirius thread (see previous posts) - I got the new car two weeks ago - and what do you know? The sound is day and night. Again - it is not CD quality clearly, but it's incomparably better now than it was. To remind all: originally the car was shipped without Nav/technology package and had a standalone Sirius unit installed which sounded like **** on 16 Harmon Kardon speakers. The new car has the navigation (and the technology package) and SiriusXM sounds MUCH better now. The issue: in BMWs - if you get the navigation - sat radio is just a circuit board within the head unit (vs. if you don't get the nav - it's a standalone sirius device). Apparently - that unintuitive thing makes a huge difference in sound. I know that Gary J and others wanted the follow - so here it is! smile.gif
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post #160 of 164 Old 04-09-2014, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mamchur View Post

Hey Everyone - back to my BMW 428 XM vs Sirius thread (see previous posts) - I got the new car two weeks ago - and what do you know? The sound is day and night. Again - it is not CD quality clearly, but it's incomparably better now than it was. To remind all: originally the car was shipped without Nav/technology package and had a standalone Sirius unit installed which sounded like **** on 16 Harmon Kardon speakers. The new car has the navigation (and the technology package) and SiriusXM sounds MUCH better now. The issue: in BMWs - if you get the navigation - sat radio is just a circuit board within the head unit (vs. if you don't get the nav - it's a standalone sirius device). Apparently - that unintuitive thing makes a huge difference in sound. I know that Gary J and others wanted the follow - so here it is! smile.gif

Thanks for the follow up. Hopefully you can find that Bimmerfest thread also. It all goes to show Sirius sound quality can be quite good but it can depend on a few different things. Some you would not even figure on.
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post #161 of 164 Old 08-20-2014, 03:25 PM
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Actually READ this thread.

If I read correctly: My Sirius Stiletto 100 would be better served, SOUND QUALITY WISE, while in it's HOME DOCK, to use my ISP for "Satellite Radio", because it sends out those streams at 128Kbps, as opposed to 32-64Kbps being sent out through the Satellites?

Is this right?

My Stiletto 100(using wireless-B. That is laughable. Wireless-G was around in 2006)) receives my Wi-Fi fine(2 bars as opposed to 3 bars on satellite). I mainly use my Stiletto 100 to record H. Stern in the morning.

I know I cannot record the Internet Streams, but do they actually sound better? When I connect, I do get INTERNET PREMIUM on the BOTTOM LINE of my Stiletto 100. It it is then replaced with the time.

P.S. I have the SIRIUS SELECT PACKAGE ONLY
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post #162 of 164 Old 03-20-2015, 07:13 AM
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Update

Hey guys. I posted more than 2 years ago about my 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee which had a Sirius radio, and how the sound quality was terrible. Since then I have done a LOT of research and have found what most are saying on this forum. To those who aren't familiar, please head my caution, even though Sirius and XM are now one company, they still make both Sirius and XM hardware separately. The issue is that anyone using Sirius hardware gets the terrible sound quality, those with XM hardware get the good audio quality. Sirius radios use different satellites than XM, and also use a different decompression algorithm, therefore causing the degradation in audio quality.


I couldn't stand the audio quality so much, that I ended up trading in my 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee for a 2014 model. Chrysler was smart, and decided to start putting the new "SiriusXM" tuners in their radios (which utilize the legacy "XM" satellites and decompression). Audio quality is now 100x better, not "tinny" underwater sound anymore.


I'm now in the market for a 2015 Ford Expedition (please leave your judgment at the door) and have yet to test drive one. I know that Ford has always used Sirius tuners in their radios, and they still appear to as all the 2015 Ford literature indicates that you get the "Sirius All Access" package with your radio.


Now, my question is this. Has Sirius quality improved at all? Am I going to end up with terrible sound quality in the 2015 Expedition too? I know I need to go test drive one to see for myself, but wanted everyone's opinion here as well. For example, I know the gentleman on this forum some time ago claimed that once he traded in his BMW for a more advanced model (with NAV), his Sirius audio quality increased and was actually good. After some research I know that BMW still uses Sirius hardware...so wouldn't the sound quality still be poor?


Anyway, hoping to revive this thread, as I think it's important we bring this issue to light to the consumerist public.
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post #163 of 164 Old 03-20-2015, 07:33 AM
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Nonsense. The Sirius in my BMWs is quite good. Of course the speakers are not by Ford or Jeep so I expect a quality difference between those important components. Example - there are 12" subs under each front seat.
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post #164 of 164 Unread Today, 06:18 AM
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@atc1989 :

I think you're hearing the differences but your conclusion is wrong.

I've had Sirius since 2004 and XM since around 2006. Various radios with both. I've heard Sirius sound great and XM sound muddy and then XM coming back and sounding great and Sirius sounding tinny, or whatever over the years. I remember early on, before they really started trying to cram in as many channels as possible, when sound quality for both was actually quite good.

There are a few factors involved:
- compression (digital): I don't have any numbers to back this up but, just from my observations, I'd say that both sides are roughly the same now. It certainly doesn't sound as good as it used to but it does sound OK
- tuners: I think that this is probably where the largest difference lies in that some tuners, regardless of the platform, sound better than others.

I have both Sirius (Directed SCC1) and XM (SiriusXM Onyx Plus) in my car currently, all feeding through the same amp and speakers and I'd say that they largely sound the same. Probably the biggest difference is that there appears to be more audio (not digital) compression coming out of the Onyx Plus. It does make the Onyx Plus sound better (punchier) but it's more a trick of the tuner than anything.

I think that most of the factors in good sound quality, at this point, really come from: tuner, stereo, and environment and it really isn't as easy as saying that one sounds better than the other.. It's more like saying, "This particular tuner using this particular platform sounds good/bad in this particular environment."
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