XM and Sirius sound quality - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 140 Old 11-15-2006, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know how XM and Sirius compare to one another in sound quality, and how it compares to FM stereo. I'm considering Sirius for my home stereo and I'm a little concerened about sound quality. I'm guessing that it's not on par with CD quality or MP3's with a decent bit rate, but I wouldn't want anything less than what you get off the satellite tv channels or FM.
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post #2 of 140 Old 11-15-2006, 12:41 PM
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I've only had XM in my car, playing through an FM modulator. Sound quality is about the same as FM.

As for Sirius, I've only had it at home, and only for a short while. My unit is the SR-H550. Sound quality on the classical stations, with good interconnects, is better than FM but not nearly as good as CD. Sound quality on the pop and jazz stations is somewhere between AM and FM. There's a world of difference. Personally, if I didn't listen only to classical, there's no way I could deal with the sound on the rock, pop and jazz stations.
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post #3 of 140 Old 11-16-2006, 08:02 AM
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I honestly think that XM is a lot better than Sirius. I have had both in my car and actually like the quality of XM a lot better.

Satellite Radio Review XM and Sirius satellite radio reviews, receivers, and programming
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post #4 of 140 Old 11-17-2006, 09:50 AM
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i've had both xm GM factory and sirius kenwood head units in my car and to be honest i found the sirius dropped out less around large buildings and had better sound!
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post #5 of 140 Old 11-17-2006, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syd7890 View Post

Does anyone know how XM and Sirius compare to one another in sound quality, and how it compares to FM stereo. I'm considering Sirius for my home stereo and I'm a little concerened about sound quality. I'm guessing that it's not on par with CD quality or MP3's with a decent bit rate, but I wouldn't want anything less than what you get off the satellite tv channels or FM.

I run Sirius (via DISH net box) through a fairly high end 2 channel system and it sounds VERY good. I also run it through my autos.

Sirius is not as good as a factory CD played on a respectable ($500) CD player.

Sirius is better than any MP3 I have ever heard.

Sirius compared to my $700 FM tuner with roof antenna is not quite as good when tuned to the very best FM stations, but otherwise is as good. This is because must FM stations have fairly low standards for SQ and overcompress to maintain dial visability.

Sirius is better than any mobile mobile FM setup because of the absolute lack of mulitipath distortion and resulting phase shift in the audio signal.

I have heard both auto and home XM set-ups and they sound very good also.
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post #6 of 140 Old 11-22-2006, 10:23 PM
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Would Sirus or XM be better for a Sports bar loud noise because of crowd (so does quality matter when you have to blast the audio?)
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post #7 of 140 Old 11-23-2006, 06:26 AM
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I have xm in my car though my pretty expensive stereo system Alpine deck to the xm tuner and I've been dissapointed at times, to me the FM channels sound a lot better especially in the highs. The only time I hear sirius is at work though our in home receiver but the quality seems a lot better. I called up xm the other week to complain about their sound quality in order to cancel my account and ended up getting 4 months free of the service (I will end up quitting afterwards).
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post #8 of 140 Old 11-24-2006, 09:22 AM
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People are always surprised when I tell them that the sound quality of Sirius through my Kenwood Excelon headunit is nowhere near as good as CD. It's close to FM except without any hiss.
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post #9 of 140 Old 11-27-2006, 08:27 PM
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I have sirius in my car and house and I think the quality is very good!
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post #10 of 140 Old 11-28-2006, 12:28 PM
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I'm surprised how many people really prefer Sirius. I'm a tried and true XM fan.

Satellite Radio Review XM and Sirius satellite radio reviews, receivers, and programming
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post #11 of 140 Old 11-29-2006, 06:55 AM
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After a couple of years of having Sirius at home and in the car, I decided to get satellite radio for my business. Unfortunately, the business requires a commercial subscription, not a residential one. After finding out that the Sirius commercial sub allows only the music channels and not anything else while XM allows everything. I went with XM.

Like others have said, a good CD will beat Sirius. But after listening to XM's music channels, Sirius is far superior! After listening to Sirius, XM sounds like someone encased my speakers in a tin can.

I'll keep XM for the areas in my business I spend less time in, but for the place I spend most of my hours, I may have to break down and get a Sirius commercial account. It's that bad.
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post #12 of 140 Old 11-29-2006, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Z View Post

After a couple of years of having Sirius at home and in the car, I decided to get satellite radio for my business. Unfortunately, the business requires a commercial subscription, not a residential one. After finding out that the Sirius commercial sub allows only the music channels and not anything else while XM allows everything. I went with XM.

Like others have said, a good CD will beat Sirius. But after listening to XM's music channels, Sirius is far superior! After listening to Sirius, XM sounds like someone encased my speakers in a tin can.

I'll keep XM for the areas in my business I spend less time in, but for the place I spend most of my hours, I may have to break down and get a Sirius commercial account. It's that bad.

You're comparing the sound of the two services on two different systems, how do you know that Sirius would not sound just as bad on the business system or that XM would not sound better at home or in the car.

The only reason I ask is that most comparisons have not yielded the same results as yours.

Pat
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post #13 of 140 Old 11-29-2006, 10:47 AM
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I have 2 rcvrs in my car.... sportser and streamer.... both through fm out with terresterial antenna taken off.

I know that it will probably improve with a hard wire setup which I intend when I get a new car.

When I used to take these in and feed them via aux out into my stereo it was thing and low quality.

Now I use Dish Networks feed in my home of most of the Sirius Channels minus Howard is superb. Sounds as good as any cd. I use Logic 7 processing and it comes out full with deep bass and clarity. Volume is perfect.

I was told this improvement was due to increase in bandwidth size given by gov to TV satellites versus radio.

Only complaint is its missing howard. Which I still hear in car albeit less quality on audio

XM have heard over at a friends though Dish and it was good quality, however I find their music programming to be lacking in 80's new wave/rock and singersongwriter rock.
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post #14 of 140 Old 11-29-2006, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat6366 View Post

You're comparing the sound of the two services on two different systems, how do you know that Sirius would not sound just as bad on the business system or that XM would not sound better at home or in the car.

The only reason I ask is that most comparisons have not yielded the same results as yours.

Pat

Because I've tried the Sirius equipment in my office before. I just can't leave it there during business hours without a commercial account.

Also, the car system is using an FM mod over the Ford factory equipment (not even JBL). It still sounds better than XM direct wired.

Sorry I didn't make all that info available in the previous post.
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post #15 of 140 Old 11-29-2006, 02:02 PM
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Sirius FM Mod sounds better then XM direct connect?

I refuse to get into yet another SQ discussion but I must say this: Check Please!!
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post #16 of 140 Old 11-29-2006, 02:44 PM
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My sister got Sirius free in her Chrysler 300c Hemi for a year. All I have to say is I am glad I never bought into sat radio! The bitrates were awful on all stations! It sounded like a Realplayer audio stream over a slow internet connection... kind of like a 92kbps mp3... or lower. I'll take FM sound quality over it any day
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post #17 of 140 Old 11-29-2006, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonblair View Post

My sister got Sirius free in her Chrysler 300c Hemi for a year. All I have to say is I am glad I never bought into sat radio! The bitrates were awful on all stations! It sounded like a Realplayer audio stream over a slow internet connection... kind of like a 92kbps mp3... or lower. I'll take FM sound quality over it any day

SQ over content, eh? An old debate

Commercials do sound great on FM and HD Radio though, I will give you that :P
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post #18 of 140 Old 12-04-2006, 11:58 AM
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I own both in my big rig,They are about the same in sound quality IMO, but sirius has better signal coverage. Traveling down the Columbia gorge in Oregon on I-84 I loose xm but sirius is fine. I've noticed the same problem occurring with any obstruction covering the south horizon with xm.I imagine it has to do with xm having stationary satellites.
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post #19 of 140 Old 12-04-2006, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Z View Post

After a couple of years of having Sirius at home and in the car, I decided to get satellite radio for my business. Unfortunately, the business requires a commercial subscription, not a residential one. After finding out that the Sirius commercial sub allows only the music channels and not anything else while XM allows everything. I went with XM.

Like others have said, a good CD will beat Sirius. But after listening to XM's music channels, Sirius is far superior! After listening to Sirius, XM sounds like someone encased my speakers in a tin can.

I'll keep XM for the areas in my business I spend less time in, but for the place I spend most of my hours, I may have to break down and get a Sirius commercial account. It's that bad.


bob how would sirius know where your installing it.

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post #20 of 140 Old 12-04-2006, 09:06 PM
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i have Sirius in my car and i love it!

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post #21 of 140 Old 12-05-2006, 01:03 PM
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From my car's head unit (Clarion DXZ735MP, with optional Sirius tuner), here is how I would rank sound quality:
CD - 192kbps MP3 - FM - Sirius

Matt

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post #22 of 140 Old 12-05-2006, 05:30 PM
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I must have received a bad unit. Polk xrt12 It sounded like a cross between AM radio and a cell phone.The compression and low bit rate made me feel like I couldn't breath. Digital cable radio blows it out of the water. By the way; Hi this is my first post.
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post #23 of 140 Old 12-05-2006, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyduck103 View Post

I must have received a bad unit. Polk xrt12 It sounded like a cross between AM radio and a cell phone.The compression and low bit rate made me feel like I couldn't breath. Digital cable radio blows it out of the water. By the way; Hi this is my first post.

Well, some of the talk stations are pretty highly compressed.

The music stations vary in quality, based on popularity and type of programming (e.g. the metal station is more heavily compressed than the top few rock channels). Specifically, "Classic Rewind" sounds close to CD quality to my ears. "Hard Attack" is nowhere close.

I had XM for about 8 months, and the only thing they have on Sirius IMO is better stereo seperation. The sound quality itself and the programming are FAR better on Sirius. I do miss Cinemagic though.
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post #24 of 140 Old 12-07-2006, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury View Post

bob how would sirius know where your installing it.

When I said "my business", I mean it is actually my business. I own it. I'm the boss, complete with employees. Now, I try to keep the employees happy (f'instance, I make sure all the employees have health insurance, no matter what my cost is, and I keep the fridge fully stocked with beer and other liquid refreshment for after hours use ), but I have to acknowledge the ability to be ratted out exists.

Many OSHA complaints start from disgruntled ex-employees, too.
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post #25 of 140 Old 12-08-2006, 06:18 PM
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I have had both Sirus and XM.
For programing I prefer:
XM Comody and the traffic stations
Sirus for the music and sports stations and the songs they play

I feel that on the music stations though that XM sounds better
On the talk stations XM definity sounds better.

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post #26 of 140 Old 12-12-2006, 09:02 PM
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Whether Sirius or XM, sound quality comes nowher near CD. FM modulation just makes things worse.

This is simply another case of providers pushing as much content as they can through limited bandwith. The same goes for satellite TV as well as cable. They believe its fine to trade off quality for more content.
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post #27 of 140 Old 12-23-2006, 12:51 PM
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Hi Everybody.
I have had both services for a while. maybe this is helpful for somebody

sound quaility.......I think XM has better quality when you play music channel but when you go to sport, news some talks is almost the same thing.

About talks shows.....definitive sirius is the pioneer on that

About Latin music....nothing compares to XM......special not too much repetition compare to sirius.

About commercials.....definitive XM put more commercial in their service that sirius

the rest is almost the same in their service.
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post #28 of 140 Old 12-27-2006, 12:21 AM
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You really can't compare the sound quality of SIRIUS from DISH Network or XM from DirecTV, because your satellite receiver is not receiving the lower bitrate signals from the SIRIUS/XM satellites. The receivers' signals are coming directly from a hardline high bitrate repeater system from SIRIUS and XM's headquarters. Therefore, there cannot be a comparison there.

You also run into a problem when you take a signal compressed with a proprietary algorithm...then captured (by DirecTV's satellites) and recompressed with DirecTV/DISH Network's proprietary encoding. Compression is much more noticeable. This is why separate streams are provided.

To compare it to television: it's like someone judging a broadcast NBC station's quality, rabbit-ears or off-air versus cable, which is relayed through a higher-quality network of systems.
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post #29 of 140 Old 12-27-2006, 11:23 AM
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all i can say is that after a year I got rid of XM solelyl due to the terrible terrible sound quality...you cannot listen to it at home if you have any kind of quality system and you get fatigued at higher volumes in the vehicle...I was very disappointed in the sound quality, enough to say no more...

I now have an Ipod using Apple Lossless and wow....there is something that sounds close to cd quality

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post #30 of 140 Old 01-04-2007, 08:23 PM
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yeah i have Sirius in my car and the sound quality is great!

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