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Sirius or XM. Sound Quality and Future Enhancments - Page 2

post #31 of 160
Here is the situation as far as I see it. I have had multiple sirius radios of both factory and aftermarket variety. For a while it sounded really good but around early May 2011, sirius changed their channel line-up (I guess for it to be more like XM). Thats when the sound quality went bad. It began to sound like the radio was underwater; really gurgled sound. This was on my aftermarket kenwood radio as well as on my wife's 2010 fusion. I recently purchased a new kenwood head unit and was informed that it required an XM tuner and not a sirius tuner. After the install, I noticed the sound quality was much better. Meanwhile, my wife just purchased a 2013 mustang and it has sirius in it. It sounds just as horrible as the other sirius radios did. This is a brand new car with this awful sounding sirius satellite radio in it. In my opinion, since the (so called) merger, they are letting the sound quality of sirius go down while maintaining a higher quality feed with the XM side. If you want it to sound better, opt for the XM and not sirius.
post #32 of 160
EXACTLY my experience. I thought maybe I was just dreaming, but I noticed the sound quality diminish when the lineup and channel numbers changed. Music is tinny and garbled. If it doesn't improve by my next renewal date, I'm out. Internet radio is MUCH clearer through the same system (AND NO it's not a receiver issue).
post #33 of 160
I have a starmate 5 hooked up through line audio to a good aftermarket system. Quality is better than FM most of the time, but surely not CD quality. The most annoying thing about it is that high hats and other high-pitch instruments get hit by the compression, and it sounds like they are being played underwater or through a sewer pipe. It's definitely not a system for audiophiles, there is more distortion than FM but without the fading, hiss, interference and other things that degrade FM. I would say overall slightly better than FM.
post #34 of 160
Audio dynamic range compression (a bad practice) is one issue that Sirius/XM is guilty of, but it is not the same as the trend on Sirius/XM toward lower bit rates. But perhaps the compression of music's dynamic range helps reduce the damand for higher bit rates. Combined, the overall sound quality of music is at an all time low and makes the listening experience not that all enjoyable. If it were not for the news channels I would drop the service immediately. Ever notice that when Sirius/XM puts out a user survey they never ask about sound quality.
post #35 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVenture View Post

I have a starmate 5 hooked up through line audio to a good aftermarket system. Quality is better than FM most of the time, but surely not CD quality. The most annoying thing about it is that high hats and other high-pitch instruments get hit by the compression, and it sounds like they are being played underwater or through a sewer pipe. It's definitely not a system for audiophiles, there is more distortion than FM but without the fading, hiss, interference and other things that degrade FM. I would say overall slightly better than FM.

You must have some real crappy FM stations in your area or a junk FM tuner; FM sounds better than sat radio. Noise? FM s&r is around 70db, most won't notice it and with the dynamic compression that most stations use, unnoticeable.
Freg response for both is the same.
stereo separation? Maybe the same, maybe better for FM. Interestingly, sat radio uses FM style multiplexing as part of its cuisinart sound processing. Stereo is
multiplexed into one channel, then multiplexed back into stereo at the player. Why? Because one channel uses less bandwith.
Dynamic range- sat is always, always, always horrible. FM can be better, all depends on the station.
Lossy compression- FM far, far superior because they don't compress it. Sat reduces talk/music to as low as 28bps making everything sound unnatural, irritating, etc. Call them up and complain and they tell you to turn treble up- haha!
post #36 of 160
I first got a Sirius receiver 6 years ago and thought it sounded abysmal. Metallic highs (of what little where there) and 'flanging' effects made music nearly unlistenable. Adding high frequency eq boost only made the artifacts worse. The SQ was far inferior compared to most FM even with their typical agressive dynamic range processor squashing. I nearly gave up until I tried the 'CD' quality stream which at that point was 128k wma. While not quite CD quality, it was IMO better than most FM. I would say that this is still true with the AAC+.

I haven't used a Sirius sat receiver for some time. I had listened not too long ago on a Best Buy demo station and even on the small speakers the audio was horribly artifacted. It amazes me still when someone reports the Sirius sat audio as sounding good. The quality of the receiver and the audio system will not correct the damage done by low bitbrate PAC without SBR. Some people I've met do not seem to hear data compression artifacts. Lossy compression uses psychoacoustics to minimize the loss of aural spectral information so the sensitivity likely varies.
post #37 of 160
I'll concede that xm online sounds better, but it is still horribly, horribly dynamically compressed. Listening to U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name"
the quiet intro is as loud as the the rest of the song. Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing", Stings part in the middle is as loud as the crescendo when the
song explodes.
Pandora gives dynamic range all for the price of $ 0.00.
post #38 of 160
I am also a newbie to Sirius because of a recent automobile purchase, I surely like the variety of music available but the sound quality is not so good!!
I have a 6 month trial so if no improvement after that so long Sirius.
post #39 of 160
New car with built-in Sirius. I will definitely NOT be renewing Sirius when the free trial expires because of the excessive MPEG compression. I used to work with sound files and my goal was to get my sound files as small as possible but still sound acceptable. This is not acceptable. I know what MPEG Layer-3 compression sounds like and what I hear is compression. It's horrible. I won't even listen to the talk or comedy stations because the sound is so bad.

This underwater effect some of you are hearing on certain stations is real and is NOT because of our equipment. It may be due to our location and the particular satellite serving our area. I'll use my iPhone and stream TuneIn over Bluetooth before I subject myself to Sirius.
post #40 of 160
If Sirius/XM wanted to converge over to an XM only product one would think that all the vehicles being produced would sport XM only radios. But that is not the case. Sirius/XM continues to sell both Sirius and XM products. There does not seem to be a play of any kind being impliminted. Forget about better audio quality; that does not seem to be in the cards at all.
post #41 of 160
Alright, tell me this. If DirecTV is so awesome and can blast 300 HD channels to your living room, why can't SiriusXM send 320kpbs music streams to your car radio? I don't get it. Are they ripping everyone off?
post #42 of 160
Thanks,
I searched for answers and found them here, supporting my own observations. I have subscribed to Sirius for about 8 years. First with a portable unit for my car purchased at Radio Shack, then through an IGig radio in my dodge and a Sportster in my home. (I was always a little angry that an Internet subscription did not come with my two radio subscription). I realized the fidelity was not up to par with FM\CD quality immediately when first, the volume was lacking, and two, happened upon same song being played on Sirius and an FM station at the same time. The difference I heard between he FM station and the Sat station playing the same song was like the difference between lets say something like AM Stereo (never heard AM stereo, but assume it to be better than mono AM) and playing a CD. I was OK with this as I was in the beginning of my romantic '70's Retro Interlude, lol.

Recently, in the past six months I guess, I have noticed the quality has taken a nose dive, mostly noticeable in quite musical passages when the sound seems to be bubbling up through bucket of water. This is the same on both my car radio (Igig, stamped with the Sirius logo), and my home sportster with outdoor antenna. Now, to further support my observations, my wife has a new Toyota with an XM subscription. Her FM and XM sound equally good.

If it is a question of bandwith/bitrate, I would vote for less channels. If the quality was improved to CD, with fewer channels I would even pay more! Do we really need five different classic rock channels, five (very bad) comedy channels? I enjoy Howard sometimes, but Howard 101? (extremely awful). That is a total waste of energized particles.

My interlude, as so my Sirius subscription has come to an end.

Thanks for giving me this platform,
Lilleddy
post #43 of 160
I just bought a new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and am coming from a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. The Cobalt came with XM and for 5 years now I have really liked the sound quality from that. Now that I have the Grand Cherokee which has a Sirius receiver, I am disgusted with the sound quality. The compression of the Sirius system is horrid. So much so I almost regret purchasing a new car.

How do we improve the sound quality of SiriusXM? In particular for those with Sirius branded receivers. Something needs to be done.
post #44 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by atc1989 View Post

I
How do we improve the sound quality of SiriusXM? In particular for those with Sirius branded receivers. Something needs to be done.

Nothing can be done. In all fairness, I did try the online xm/siris app on my iphone and it sounded much better, digital compression was almost as good as
Pandora. However, it still had that bricked dynamic compression that made louds and softs the same, which bugged me. GIve Pandora a try, it is amazing
when compared to sat radio. When I tried Pandora, I cancelled my xm subscription that week.
If you have a compressed music enhance function on your HU, that could help. I have a Clarion 609 with three different
levels of sound "restoration" and it really helps a lot.
post #45 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellok View Post

Alright, tell me this. If DirecTV is so awesome and can blast 300 HD channels to your living room, why can't SiriusXM send 320kpbs music streams to your car radio? I don't get it. Are they ripping everyone off?

You realize TV satellite dishes are like 2 feet in diameter and the satellite radio antenna is an inch or 2 (if even that).
post #46 of 160
Just bought a new Lincoln Hybrid with SAT and have not had any sound problems. It has a SYNC Applink which could have an influence on the sound.
post #47 of 160

They have pretty much sealed the deal for me. The only reason I subscribe to SiriusXm is for sports. Mainly live playbyplay. When I first subscribed you could get almost all college football games home and away broadcast. Now it is pretty much just the home team broadcast with a few exceptions. The sound quality on these broadcasts is atrocious.

I have always been able to get a deal on my subscriptions so I have remained a subscriber. If things don't change I will probably not renew.

post #48 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by atc1989 View Post

I just bought a new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and am coming from a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. The Cobalt came with XM and for 5 years now I have really liked the sound quality from that. Now that I have the Grand Cherokee which has a Sirius receiver, I am disgusted with the sound quality. The compression of the Sirius system is horrid.

I just want to echo this experience. I've been an XM subscriber since 2001 or 2002 and through a succession of vehicles and receivers have always been very happy with it. But I just bought a new BMW. The premium sound system is very nice, but Sirius is the only sat radio option. The bitrate compression artifacts are terrible! I can hardly listen to music on this thing, and even BBC World Service sounds bad.

And since I'm complaining about Sirius vs the joys of XM, let me just add that I'm one of the handful of folks who actually listens to CSPAN radio on XM, and I really miss it on Sirius. So far I've not found anything unique to Sirius to love.
post #49 of 160
Sirius sound quality is horrible. I have a new Ford explorer with SYNC that allows easy comparison to HD radio, Pandora, and the Sirius stations. I cant see buying the subscription for music. They better get it together fast. Folks who want to hear quality sound will not buy it.
post #50 of 160
The quality of sound on my 2010 Mustang's premium reciver stinks. Terrible sound quality. My dealer agrees.
post #51 of 160
Are there any comparisons of bit rates between Sirius smartphone apps and satellite radio?
post #52 of 160
The app sounds much better. I think it is at least 128k, whereas the radio sounds like 64k.
post #53 of 160
I believe the radio is vbr and the algorithm gives higher rates to music and popular channels but I do not know much about the internet apps.
post #54 of 160
It boggles my mind that people actually pay for this sh*t... I have a new car with Sirius and the quality is just awful... I know that after my "free" 6 month subscription is up I won't be renewing.
post #55 of 160
Sirius or the car?
post #56 of 160
Same here a newer car with a 6 month subscription but when in is over it is over!!!
post #57 of 160
Cancelled a few weeks back. Now I'm getting automated spam phone calls from Sirius - they use multiple numbers that just call and hang up. I'm on my second blocked number so far.mad.gif
post #58 of 160
I got a 2013 Ford Explorer to replace my 2003 Explorer. The new one has Sirius in the MyFordTouch screen system. I have never had Sirius before, but have multiple XM receivers; one in my old Explorer installed aftermarket along with the FM modulator. I've never been thrilled with the quality of the XM signal compared to CD or FM (not that I ever listen to FM). It sounds like a 60kbps MP3. But this Sirius system on the Ford is so bad if is nearly unlistenable (unless you are one of those kids who listen to songs extensively played through your cellphone speaker). The highs are brittle and thin and it sounds so downsampled.

I have the top of the line sound system on the new Ford, but no question that the aftermarket XM unit in my other Ford is definitely way better. I am ok listening to MP3s for convenience, but still buy CDs rather than MP3 downloads. But as another said; The quality is like comparing a 320kbps MP3 to AM radio. Perhaps it is the Sirius signal being so much worse than XM. I'm pretty pissed. I was really looking forward to a BETTER QUALITY signal with the new Ford... quite the opposite.

I won't continue the Sirius after the trial. Trying to push this sh#t out to customers, Sirius should be ashamed. Raise your finger high.
post #59 of 160
Just blocked the third different harassment phone number from SiriusXM. They've called 4 times in the last 24 hours.
post #60 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerandy View Post

Just blocked the third different harassment phone number from SiriusXM. They've called 4 times in the last 24 hours.
If you are on the Do Not Call List file a complaint for every call, they get fined and it will make you feel better. But you need to tell them to put them on their DNC list since you have/had a business relationship with them.

https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx?panel=2
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