XM and Sirius sound quality - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 140 Old 07-19-2007, 06:32 PM
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Well, if you go by the opinions here, it really doesn't matter. Sounds like a discussion about Coke and Pepsi. Round and round with no decision. Just preferences.
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post #92 of 140 Old 07-20-2007, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithaxis View Post

So if you like quantity without quality and either satellite radio service is the one...sure not for me.

Sound just like the satellite video services .
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post #93 of 140 Old 07-21-2007, 08:56 PM
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Ya, would be nice if they merge and run the same number of channels that only one of the vendors has today across more sats at higher bandwidth.

No it wouldn't. There's a good chance a bunch of my favorite channels would be axed. I'm a dual subscriber and have many favorite stations from each service. I don't want some bean counter telling me what a combined company should offer. I like XMs programming style, and I like Sirius' programming style. Sometimes I listen to Squizz, sometimes I listen to Octane. I like both, I want a choice, so no axing channels, no merger.

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post #94 of 140 Old 08-03-2007, 10:00 AM
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I just got XM on a whim... I'm using a SkyFI2 receiver in my Car with a two-year-old Alpine head unit, and the car's stock speakers. Running it via line-in, my iPod sounds fine, but holy crap - I had no idea the sound quality was so bad. I really, really like the content and programming on XM, but I don't think there's any way I could pay for it considering how over-compressed and lo-fi the stations I like to listen to sound. I've heard 96kbps MP3s that sound better; hell, I can stream better audio over the EVDO on my Treo for free. (And before you ask, yep, I made sure the FM modulator was turned off).

Luckily I only paid 40 bucks for the kit and got three free months, and I've been curious for years - but I was severely unimpressed. If I call to cancel and they give me some free months I guess I'll keep it, as I do like the content, but overall I'm not quite impressed enough to keep it.
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post #95 of 140 Old 08-03-2007, 01:03 PM
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XM's going to be improving the sound of their music channels starting on 8/5 btw.

If a movie or concert video or a TV show isn't on blu ray it darn well should be.

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post #96 of 140 Old 08-03-2007, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin j View Post

XM's going to be improving the sound of their music channels starting on 8/5 btw.

How? Got any links?

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post #97 of 140 Old 08-04-2007, 09:45 AM
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Go to XMFAN.com or XM411.com they have the info on the improvement.

If a movie or concert video or a TV show isn't on blu ray it darn well should be.

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post #98 of 140 Old 08-05-2007, 09:07 AM
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I'm listening to Deeptracks as I type and it definitely sounds better imho.

If a movie or concert video or a TV show isn't on blu ray it darn well should be.

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post #99 of 140 Old 08-05-2007, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnewhous View Post

There are a bunch of homers being paid by Sirius to go to forums and brag about how good it sounds.
From the honest people on these forums it's clear that XM sounds slightly inferior to analog FM and Sirius sounds like AM radio without all the noise.

Claptrap. show proof. lol

I have heard both on various systems.
Serius is clearly better in sound quality than XM. I have XM in my new car, and I cringe every time the singer says a work with "S" in it. The compression is so poor, there are nothing but artifacts in the sound. It sounds like everything above 15k is missing. All S'es sound the same = crap. A careful listen to cymbols and other instraments wiht high amounts of high-frequency output you will realize they are just not reporduced. The low end on both systems are okay, better than FM, but about as good as a low-bitrate MP3 system. High frequencies are poor on both, but XM is worse than AM / Cassete tape.

I would love to have someone provide top rated radios for each and record them 16+ bit rate on the same song. Then we could compare them with the original and matematically show the differences.

I sure hope the impovement today will change my mind.

As a professional working with sounds reenforement over 17 years, I can say they both suck, but XM sucks worse. I get XM free for three months on my built-in car stereo. I can't stand to listen to it.
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post #100 of 140 Old 08-12-2007, 12:16 PM
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You all must have some connection issues or something. I have my XM Inno hardwired to my factory Monsoon system and it sounds just as good as FM radio. A properly installed XM unit will sound good in a car. Using a FM modulator= bad sound.
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post #101 of 140 Old 08-13-2007, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin j View Post

Go to XMFAN.com or XM411.com they have the info on the improvement.

Their "improvement" is claimed by adding additional processing from Neural. Adding "quality" with additional audio processing is always snake oil. That's a lot different than any changes to the bit-rate reduction algorithm.

By the way, my less-than-scientific survey says that, on the similar-style music channel that I listened to on both services, XM came out ahead on quality. I mention this to say that my first comment was not because I hate XM.
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post #102 of 140 Old 08-28-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhummel2001 View Post

I have 6 XM subscriptions, but I still think their sound quality stinks. It is OK for the car, and portable devices, but forget it for the home.

If you have a high quality audio system, then you will dislike the sound of XM going through it.

Too much compression.

I just got a Pioneer Inno and I hate it. Worse sound quality of any portable that I have owned. Looks neat, but sounds lousy.

If it's so bad, then why do you have 6 subscriptions? I have the polk xrt12 hooked up to a very good home system and it's not perfection, but it's definitely fine for what it is....
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post #103 of 140 Old 09-23-2007, 12:31 AM
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I have spent some time with Sirius and XM radio in both of my father's cars where has them directly connected without modulators and the SOUND QUALITY is still AWFUL for both (one of them is a BMW and the other a Mercedes with nice sound systems). If you enjoy listening to 64kbps MP3 internet radio streams then you will also likely enjoy Sirius or XM. If you are the type of person who still buys real CDs instead of purchasing 128kbps AAC files from iTunes then just keep walking and don't waste your money on these awful technologies.

I do see a future in both Sirius and XM though if they can step up the quality to 128kbps AAC levels; an acceptable sound quality level that most can tolerate.
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post #104 of 140 Old 10-07-2007, 05:23 PM
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I've had Sirius in 4 cars so far and I can't get enough. I think they both sound about the same, hell at this point anything is better than clear channel.
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post #105 of 140 Old 10-09-2007, 09:14 AM
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I have 2 radios, an old school XMPCR and an Audiovox Xpress that I use in the car via cassette adapter & in the Belkin boombox in the yard. The XMPCR sounds phenominal, mainly as my sound card (Creative Xgamer - old but still kicking) drives the audio and in the car, the cassette adapter sounds astonishingly great - better than FM to my ears! I have a stock Toyota radio, so it's nothing fancy and while most times cassette adapters are awful but to me it sounds great.
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post #106 of 140 Old 11-17-2007, 02:40 PM
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Had Sirius for 4 years through a Kenwood HU. Always felt I could here the impact of the compression. New car with XM with stock HU -- subjectively sounds better.
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post #107 of 140 Old 11-22-2007, 12:05 AM
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I have a pioneer DEH-P7800MP headunit in my jeep, along with some upper end speakers/subs/amps. I also have XM and sirius both connected directly to the headunit using a GEX-P920XM for XM, along with a SIR-PNR2 for Sirius. I also have a CD-IB100II which is a iPod interface for the deck. The Sirius and ipod sound great in my vehicle, while the XM sounds "muddy" or not as clear and crisp. I would think these units would perform the same, as they are both connected to the deck directly via inputs? I haven't had any other opportunities to compare them directly other then at bestbuy and the like...

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post #108 of 140 Old 11-23-2007, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoCoKola View Post

I have XM in my new car, and I cringe every time the singer says a work with "S" in it. The compression is so poor, there are nothing but artifacts in the sound. It sounds like everything above 15k is missing.

Everything above 15k is missing. Here is a chart made by Wireman and posted on XM411:

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post #109 of 140 Old 11-23-2007, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

Everything above 15k is missing. Here is a chart made by Wireman and posted on XM411:

I often wondered that, while listening to XM. I have very good ears, especially above 15k, and noticed there was something missing. Must be a way of saving bandwidth. I like my XM service, but it needs to get the sound a little more balanced, especially the high end. It reminds me of a good quality standard cassette tape, before the days of Compact Disk.

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post #110 of 140 Old 12-05-2007, 06:39 PM
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I bought and activated a Sirius reciver today. I'm undecided as to whether I like it or not. To put it simply, some Sirius stations sound superior to the others. My Pioneer car stereo does a good job of making FM radio sound OK, and it does the same with some of the Sirius stations. Bass sounds OK, if not overstated.
The better-sounding stations are good enough that they don't sound *bad*... just sort of... weak. I suppose I'll test it further It sounds a lot like when I encoded songs to ~70kbit Ogg Vorbis in order to fit as much as possible on a 256MB SD card - and they were just fine in environments where there was noise. Maybe Sirius will sound better during the daily drive.
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post #111 of 140 Old 12-10-2007, 03:52 PM
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For me XM is great due to very poor FM reception at my home. I installed it on my VSX-91THX receiver and find that it is not as good as the best CDs, but better than many. I have the receiver set on ext. stereo and after setting up with MCACC, XM sounds very good indeed. Not all of XM sounds good. The best for me are the modern Jazz, Trance, and other more recently recorded stuff. The 40 year old rock sounds like AM (crap). For me it's all in the source and processing; I can "make" XM sound very good. One thing I don't like is constantly adjusting my Paradigm subwoofer level control due to very inconsistent bass levels received from XM.
I also have XM in my cars. Same story as above. It sounds equal to FM to me, but then I have factory and average quality head units in all. The only reception quirks I've had are when driving under larger underpasses. Gone for a sec then right back.
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post #112 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 07:28 AM
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I put the sportster 4 in my car and listening with the FM modulator...it is low low quality...static is always present. Good thing I didn't get a lifetime subscription. Should have given HD radio a try. I was expecting it to be as good as FM but it's worse....Don't waste your time and money on this crap!!!!

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post #113 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvermaxd View Post

I put the sportster 4 in my car and listening with the FM modulator...it is low low quality...static is always present. Good thing I didn't get a lifetime subscription. Should have given HD radio a try. I was expecting it to be as good as FM but it's worse....Don't waste your time and money on this crap!!!!


I love my sirius and WILL NEVER go back to FM again.

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post #114 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 01:29 PM
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I had the Sportser 5 installed and, for the first time, was impressed with the sound of satellite radio in my car. I found that the sound quality was close to that of my local FM stations...a first! Now I'm not sure if it's the radio, Sirius sound quality or a combination of both. I think as with other technologies, little attention appears to be paid to how the satellite receiver affects sound quality.

At any rate, I just tried the XM Xpress RC in the same car since I was largely attracted to the really nice display on that unit. But I was surprised at the difference in sound quality. Using the same setup, the Xpress RC just sounded more compressed and less 'musical' along with being kind of fatiguing to listen to. Again, I don't know if this is a function of the receiver, XM or a combination of both. The last time I had XM was in my Acura TL and it sounded OK, but not up to FM sound quality.

The bottom line is that I'm surprised given the fact that most reviewers, such as CNET, seem to pick XM as having better sound quality. Based on my comparison, I would disagree strongly. That certainly wouldn't be the first time I've disagreed with CNET by the way.
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post #115 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvermaxd View Post

I put the sportster 4 in my car and listening with the FM modulator...it is low low quality...static is always present. Good thing I didn't get a lifetime subscription. Should have given HD radio a try. I was expecting it to be as good as FM but it's worse....Don't waste your time and money on this crap!!!!

You can't condemn the radio or the service due to the way you hooked it up. The FCC severely cut the allowable power to these devices that use FM modulation to transmit the signal to your car radio. The results will almost always be noisy due to the very low power. The best way to hook this up is via an aux input if you have one on your car radio. The difference will be more than night and day.
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post #116 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 01:55 PM
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I've just installed the Sirius sportster 4 in my Jeep Wrangler which has factory radio and speakers and it sounds just as good as FM radio. I used the direct antenna connection. Of course, the faster you go in the Jeep the higher you need to turn up the volume to hear the radio over the road noise.
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post #117 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 02:25 PM
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When I got a new car stereo with an Aux input jack and a built in graphic EQ, Sirius sound quality is MUCH improved, although still absolutely not CD quality, about on par with FM on music channels, and worse on talk channels.

I've found Sirius to have better sound quality than XM. Although XM radios have good FM transmitters where some Sirius models are useless without an external tranmitter, or direct wiring.
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post #118 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 03:16 PM
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After a few days (and turning off the "Loudness" DSP on my receiver, which also was causing subwoofer problems in my car), Sirius sounds just fine to me, in my car.
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post #119 of 140 Old 12-11-2007, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vic4news View Post

I've just installed the Sirius sportster 4 in my Jeep Wrangler which has factory radio and speakers and it sounds just as good as FM radio. I used the direct antenna connection. Of course, the faster you go in the Jeep the higher you need to turn up the volume to hear the radio over the road noise.

The funny thing is even my wife, who has a tin ear, can hear the better sound of Sirius. How CNET gave XM the nod is beyond me. Perhaps when they did their review, things were not as they are today?
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post #120 of 140 Old 12-12-2007, 08:12 AM
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First let me say this. They both stink up the house. I got into sat radio thinking that it was CD quality. Boy was this a let down.

My first unit was an outboard kenwood tuner that interfaed with my headunit. Sirius. My god it was awefull. The sound qulity was so compressed. Any s sound drove me nuts. I couldn't take it and get rid of it a month later.

Then I got an XM SkiFi2. Loved it. The sound was certainly compressed, but the vocals were not horribly crushed.

I got rid of that unit and went to the TAO. I think it's sound was a bit lower than the SikFi2. I liked it on the whole.

Then I moved to the Inno. My god the thing is awesome. Th sound is a bit better than the Tao, but not as good as the SkiFi2. Now it could be that XM has played with thier signal since then.

I thin alot comes down to the Codec. PAC (sirius) is just not there in the midrange. AAC+ (XM) has got it beat!
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