AVS Special Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Sunnyvale, CA, USA
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I just got Sirius in my car and had a chance to try it out over the weekend. I would say the sound quality is comparable to about 128K MP3. Overall it's pretty good, but you get that sort of muddy, shimmering sound on high frequencies such as symbols that is typical of low bit rate compression. Definitely not as good as CD or the VBR MP3s I ripped from my CDs. It's kind of hard to compare to FM because the problems are different. FM lacks high frequencies so you may not notice what is missing, and as the signal decreases you get a variety of sound degradation. With Sirius the highs are there, but sometimes they sound wrong. The sound quality is very consistent, but it is all or nothing. Either you get the typical sound quality or you get silence when the signal drops too low. I prefer Sirius to FM, but the reception of the FM stations I listen to may not be the best it can do.
I'm not using a FM modulator or tape adapter, so can't comment on how they affect the sound. The setup is a new Kenwood head unit, Sirius tuner and antenna.
So far I'm a happy new customer. It would be nice if the sound quality was better, but I was mainly interested in content. I was really bored with homogenized corporate owned FM and the limited play lists they use. So far I've heard a lot of stuff on Sirius that I've never heard on FM, plus many songs I haven't heard in a long time. And of course no commercials is great!