XM Radio Review - thumbs down - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 110 Old 05-13-2006, 09:30 PM
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I am new to the forum, and have been reading the threads, and I must say it's been interesting. I am curious to know how many people here consider themselves to be sound experts. I for one don't consider myself to be, but if it sounds good to me thats all that matters. I drive coast to coast 300 days out of the year and satellite radio has been a life saver from constantly searching for a channel or changing cds. I have both sirius and xm because I am a baseball and football fan. Te music channels are good qaulity unless your trying for competion systems. Both systems are repetitive on almost all the channels except talk radio. Both systems are in their infancy so give them time to improve on the things that needed improved. By the time they figure it out, someone else will have come up with a new technology and all the emphasis will be put on them. Bottom line is, if you want music without commercials, either system is good, but try not to be over critical when you aren't forced to buy the service. Good luck all, and happy listening.
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post #92 of 110 Old 05-14-2006, 09:35 AM
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Nice post Jack...I have XM in my car,and you're right..It sounds OK,and the more I have improved the my car sound system XM sound quality gets worse..The better the system the more it will show XM and Sirius warts!! But it's still OK,and I love the music with no commercials. I've heard songs I haven't heard in YEARS!!
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post #93 of 110 Old 06-06-2006, 02:38 PM
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I too have both services, and Sirius blows away xm in content. I listen to rock(old as well as new) and I think the rock channels on xm are horrible. Buzzsaw kicks Boneyards ass. Hair nation says Bring on the cheese!
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post #94 of 110 Old 06-06-2006, 02:42 PM
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As far as sound quality, they are below fm, but Sirius is the better choice here as well. XM is a notch or 2 below.
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post #95 of 110 Old 06-06-2006, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja5477
As far as sound quality, they are below fm, but Sirius is the better choice here as well. XM is a notch or 2 below.
really? That's strange,always heard there was no appreciable difference. Why do you subscribe to XM, just curious, as it seems like you are far more happy with Sirius.
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post #96 of 110 Old 06-07-2006, 07:17 AM
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I absolutely disagree, XM is much better than Sirius. I checked out both before making a decision. XM has much better content and much better selection of radios. I prefer 50's-70's music but will listen to everything and I find that XM had it hands down over Sirius. I do not regret going with them one bit. I also find their sq to be very acceptable.
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post #97 of 110 Old 06-08-2006, 01:10 PM
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Sirius was my first choice when I tried satellite radio. My preference is acoustic rock and folk and public radio and I found Sirius to be severely lacking in these formats. Then they eliminated one of the stations I listened to the most - Folktown, and changed a lot of the programming on Disorder. After trying XM I love it! I listen primarily to the XM Cafe, The Loft, The Village and XMPR. To me the sound quality is fine both in the car and through the Rotel A/V receiver. In my opinion Sirius would be fine too if they expanded their format a bit, though, I will admit that I remember there being more song repetition on Sirius versus what I have experienced with XM. One last note, I own 1000 shares of Sirius and none of XM, so I can only hope that Sirius does well. I just wish they were better now.
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post #98 of 110 Old 06-25-2006, 10:10 PM
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I subscribe to both XM and Sirius. I use two seperate IP-bus tuners with my Pioneer AVIC-D1, with some quality Inifinity Kappa Perfect speakers, and quality amplifiers.

XM has more stereo seperation than Sirius, yet due to the format they stream in, the high end on the lower bitrate streams leaves some to be desired. Their HD surround streams (Fine Tuning and XM Pops) sound wonderful, especially for 56kbps AAC+ streams. The bass response of XM is also clean. Everything sounds perfect up to about 4.5kHz on most streams, and then it gets played with by SBR (spectral band replication). The bitrates are also constant.

Sirius has less stereo seperation due to the nature of the PAC codec. The bitrate also varies. The S>PLEX system allows Sirius to give more bandwidth to the channels that need it at the moment. A song played at one moment on Sirius may not sound the same as it will another moment. For example:

"The Police - Message in a Bottle"

On XM, depending on the channel (and therefore, bitrate), it will sound like either
"Sending out at an s.o.s."
or
"Shending out at an eshh.o.eshh." (32kbps)
or
"Ssssending out at an sss.o.ssss." (40kbps)
or
"Sending out at an s.o.s." (48kbps+)

On Sirius, at the beginning of that whole "Sending out at an s.o.s." set, it may sound like
"SSSSSSSSSSending out at an sssssssssssss.o.sssssssssssssss." (note the strong S)
later on it may sound like
"SSSSSSSSending out at an s.o.sssssssss.
or
"sending out at an eth.o.eth."
or
"Sending out at an et.o.et."
or
"Sending out at an ssssssssssss.o.ssssssssssssssssss."
with the variance in bitrate emphasizing compression artifacts on the S, with the dynamic range compression compensating for the change.

I actually heard "She's A Beauty" by "Tubes" on Sirius, and the part where they were saying
"She's a Beauty - one in a million girls" actually came out as
"He's a Beauty - one in a million girls"

One in a million alright!
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post #99 of 110 Old 06-27-2006, 08:19 PM
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I drive for a living and listen to XM all day on my Pioneer AVIC-Z1. I'm usually listening to channels 8, 9, 22, 26, 48, 54, and the talk stations to include news, sports, and comedy. I really can't bear to listen to the music channels for long periods of time. The dull, compressed sound really starts wearing on me and leads to headaches.

I consider myself to have a better "ear" than most for music. My home system is comprised of Yamaha electronics and B&W speakers all around. XM's highs and lows are really dull and muddy. Talk is fine, but musically, XM is lacking.

I love the idea of XM since I'm all over Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. Finding stations in all these areas is a pain. Being high up in the mountains or off in the boonies, often there's not much to choose from. I just wish they could come out with something that truly is digital CD (PCM) quality-but I'd settle for a high bit rate audio format as well.
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post #100 of 110 Old 06-28-2006, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rplenty
I love XM! The sound quality is excellent on my units. Sounds better than FM for sure. The people above must be audiophiles because there are 2.6 million listeners enjoying fantastic reception, quality and music. Don't believe the above threads because XM is the great! (I think these are Sirius radio Posts.
No offense but you must have hearing loss.
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post #101 of 110 Old 08-21-2006, 08:18 PM
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"...I use two seperate IP-bus tuners with my Pioneer AVIC-D1, with some quality Inifinity Kappa Perfect speakers, and quality amplifiers...."


Super,
Do you use an external house antenna? Can you recommend one? I get XM through my Yamaha RXV 2600 receiver and push it thru Klipsch RF-35's. Unlike many here, I love the sound and the XM experience. My reception is very good (we live in coumtry in NE Oklahoma). However, I would like to improve the reception with an outside antenna.

regards,
Alan
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post #102 of 110 Old 08-23-2006, 08:31 AM
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If your reception really is "very good" and you don't get any dropouts, there is no reason to put up an outside antenna. Once your signal is reasonably above the threshold required for digital reception, a stronger signal doesn't buy you any additional fidelity.
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post #103 of 110 Old 08-25-2006, 03:50 PM
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I have a factory XM receiver in my Corvette and it sounds terrible to me. Somewhere between AM and FM is right - at best it sounds like a 96 kbps MP3. When I switch from any of the XM rock stations to local FM the difference in quality is staggering.

After reading some people talking about how fantastic their setups sound I've been trying to understand how it could be so - a factory-installed XM receiver should sound as good as it gets right?

For sports and news though it's fine, information doesn't need high fidelity - music does.
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post #104 of 110 Old 08-25-2006, 08:55 PM
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I've only had xm so I don't really know about Sirius. I can definitely say that the sound quality left much to be desired, the music stations sounded ok at best but not better than FM, actually I prefer FM really because of the echoey compressed sound of XM. Many talk channels are compressed to the point where they are nearly unlistenable. The content selection is great and so is the general lack of commercials on music channels, but better sound quality is not on my list of benefits to satelite radio.
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post #105 of 110 Old 08-28-2006, 05:08 PM
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I could swear that I have read in a few spots here and there that XM sound quality was equivalent to what you would get with a 90bit MP3. So it is somewhat less than what people normally rip songs to their iPods at, and IMO far short of CD quality. I consider CD quality to be about 256bit MP3 played through an average stereo, and 320bit MP3 played through a nice stereo. On a truly high end monster nothing except a lossless codec really sounds like the CD.

The best way I can describe XM is flat. It just lacks character. It surely is less noisy than FM radio, but compared to a CD...well, I keep mentaly straining to hear that "something" missing that is missing from XM every time I am in a car with it. I have not had any experience with Sirius.

If I could get the equivalent quality of, say, a 190bit WMA file over XM or Sirius I would sign up in a heartbeat because I think the programing would be the big factor. As it is, programing or not, I just can't pay a monthly subscription for something that lacks so much in the sound department. Saying Satellite is "near CD" is BS in my opinion.

Ruin
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post #106 of 110 Old 09-04-2006, 09:31 AM
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I'm a new poster to this thread...I own a Delphi XM2GO unit that I finally got around to having installed in my truck. I must say that I was pretty excited. I had been using the unit in my home connected (RCA's) to my receiver and never had a complaint. The sound is crisp and the bass was rich. Now the complaint/question. My truck has a wonderful, factory installed, THX sound system. CD's and radio sound awesome! I brought the truck into Best Buy to have the unit installed. I thoroughly discussed the technician's installation procedure and felt satisfied and informed. He told me he was going to wired it directly to the antenna line and I would tune the unit in through the FM radio station. This sounded reasonable. Well, I was brutally disappointed with the sound quality. I have to crank the volume far higher on the radio to reach my desired volume level. The tonal quality is awful. I called the installer back and he told me that this is normal. Are you kidding me? It sounds like poor quality PC speakers on an old computer! So, now I'm trying to figure out what to do...the antenna is already installed and the connections are made. Should I upgrade to one of the new XM handheld units? There are currently no tonal or output level adjustments on my Delphi. Perhaps a newer unit would suffice. Any thoughts? I'm also wondering if the newer units will connect to the now existing wiring for the old Delphi myFi unit? Any thoughts would be really helpful! Thanks in advance!
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post #107 of 110 Old 09-08-2006, 01:32 PM
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I have XM hooked up in my Jeep through Alpine's 9856 using there bus cables. I also have a amp and some decent not great car audio gear (it is a Jeep afterall).

XM's sound quality is marginal at best. When people say between am & FM that hits it right onthe head. As far as content.......eh. I gotXM because I added my unti to a friends account so i only pay $8 a month. I listen to mostly rock 26, 30, 48, 54. Everytime I turn on some other channels it's some thrash metal I can't stand. I am thinking of buying the Sirrus gear and checking that out.
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post #108 of 110 Old 09-08-2006, 05:18 PM
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I have a new car that had it preinstalled and regular radio doesn't compare at all. I wouldn't give it up for all the popcorn in the world.
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post #109 of 110 Old 09-09-2006, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye7
I have XM hooked up in my Jeep through Alpine's 9856 using there bus cables. I also have a amp and some decent not great car audio gear (it is a Jeep afterall).

XM's sound quality is marginal at best. When people say between am & FM that hits it right onthe head. As far as content.......eh. I gotXM because I added my unti to a friends account so i only pay $8 a month. I listen to mostly rock 26, 30, 48, 54. Everytime I turn on some other channels it's some thrash metal I can't stand. I am thinking of buying the Sirrus gear and checking that out.
Sirius only has one or two of those thrash metal stations - I'm able to just block them out. It ain't bad - I just wish there were dedicated channels for Prog Rock, Jazz - Fusion and Celtic. Other than that, most genres are pretty well represented. Their Garage Rock channel is almost worth the price alone.
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post #110 of 110 Old 09-18-2006, 11:02 AM
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I have had XM for over a year now. My first unit was a Roady 2. I had a hard time using the FM modulator, it seemed I could never find a channel that was interference free. I bought the internal modulator and sound quality was better. I would say that the sound quality is better than FM but no where near as good as a CD.

Even so, I bought the radio for a couple of reasons. I wanted more variety than I could find on my local channels. Some you who live in large metropolitan areas have a wide variety of music available to you on the FM dial. There are only a handful of stations where I live, and many of those are the same or similar formats. XM absolutely delivers in that regard for me. It even opened my eyes to the world of Blues (Bluesville, XM74), something I would never be able to hear on any local FM channel.

I also wanted less commercials. Although some of the new Clear Channel controlled channels on XM now have commercials, there is plenty of commercial free music.

One of the most pleasant surprises are the cool radio features, like being able to have the radio know which songs/artisit you like and having it notify you when one is playing on another channel.

I recently purchased an INNO and I have to admit this unit is making me fall in love with XM all over again.
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