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Sirius or XM. Sound Quality and Future Enhancments - Page 4

post #91 of 160
I just got a new Bimmer with the optional, upgraded sound system so it's all about the signal. It sounds great. Have not touched the equalizer.
post #92 of 160
All,

I have enjoyed sat radio , whether it was XM or Sirius, in my OEM GMC Truck since 2005.
post #93 of 160
Ok, so our 2014 Ford Explorer has an 'old' Sirius radio and it sounds great - no compression artifacts at all. So the Cadillac ATS that the new SiriusXM radio that sounds like crap.

Seems like Sirius XM are making great steps backward in terms of sound quality.
post #94 of 160
Has nothing to do with the receivers, not a thing. Look, the bit rate is under 30kbps. Stop, think about how low that is- it is very, very low. No receiver will add bits to the signal.
And, before someone mentions those mp3 compressed music enhancers that some stereos have, they can't turn a sonic turd into a gem. I have one on my Clarion and it only made the XM sound more shrill.
This is one of the reasons why sat radio is dying.There used to be two busy sat radio forums, now just one and it is pretty dead. I don't anyone who still subscribes to it.
It doesn't take long to figure out that Pandora (or anything else on a cell phone) blows away sat radio and is free as well..
post #95 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclark View Post

Has nothing to do with the receivers, not a thing. Look, the bit rate is under 30kbps.

How about some references for that? In fact the bit rate is variable. If fact bandwidth also varies by channel.
post #96 of 160
I just loosely read through this thread. I've been a Sirius customer for 7 1/2 years and recently upgraded to include their Internet streaming service. I have to say it sounds WAY better than the satellite service so if someone told me the sat version is around 30kbps I'd say that was about right for most channels, Howard Sterns channel being one of the exceptions but not the only one that my ears tell me is higher quality it also seems that at night channels like classic vinyl sound better, so I'm assuming they somehow increase the quality, this is true with their sat service and Internet based sounds good all the time. Also it seems to me the quality of their sound has decreased over the years and it was getting to the point I was going to cancel my subscription, so when I added their Internet service it was a big improvement. I'm still not sure if I'm going to renew this year because I've been listening to a lot of Internet radio lately. That said IR is a real crap shoot and even the high quality ones do not sound as good as Sirius Internet, so I'm on the fence.
Edited by comfynumb - 9/12/13 at 6:57am
post #97 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I just loosely read through this thread. I've been a Sirius customer for 7 1/2 years and recently upgraded to include their Internet streaming service. I have to say it sounds WAY better than the satellite service so if someone told me the sat version is around 30kbps I'd say that was about right for most channels, Howard Sterns channel being one of the exceptions but not the only one that my ears tell me is higher quality it also seems that at night channels like classic vinyl sound better, so I'm assuming they somehow increase the quality, this is true with their sat service and Internet based sounds good all the time. Also it seems to me the quality of their sound has decreased over the years and it was getting to the point I was going to cancel my subscription, so when I added their Internet service it was a big improvement. I'm still not sure if I'm going to renew this year because I've been listening to a lot of Internet radio lately. That said IR is a real crap shoot and even the high quality ones do not sound as good as Sirius Internet, so I'm on the fence.

A lot of people feel this way about satellite radio. Myself included. If Stern was not on there, I would be(and most likely will be when his contract expires), gone. There are just so many better options for music out via the internet and elsewhere.

PANDORA, TUNE IN RADIO, I HEART RADIO, SLACKER, etc... The sound quality from those services alone are VASTLY SUPERIOR too SiriusXM that it really makes them look like a joke at this point.

And as far as content, with MLB.TV, you can get all the radio of MLB games you want(plus TV if available). I "think" the NFL may offer a RADIO ONLY SUBSCRIPTION of it's games, but I am not sure of that. Anyone who knows, please chime in.

So SiriusXM "EXCLUSIVE" content is really down to H. Stern IMHO. I know others will chime in that they do not care, which is fine. But for a lot of us here, and elsewhere, he is the main reason we are staying. Plus the price drop for yearly service. They charge me full price, I will be gone. Even H. Stern is not worth that amount.
post #98 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by STEELERSRULE View Post

A lot of people feel this way about satellite radio. Myself included. If Stern was not on there, I would be(and most likely will be when his contract expires), gone. There are just so many better options for music out via the internet and elsewhere.

PANDORA, TUNE IN RADIO, I HEART RADIO, SLACKER, etc... The sound quality from those services alone are VASTLY SUPERIOR too SiriusXM that it really makes them look like a joke at this point.

And as far as content, with MLB.TV, you can get all the radio of MLB games you want(plus TV if available). I "think" the NFL may offer a RADIO ONLY SUBSCRIPTION of it's games, but I am not sure of that. Anyone who knows, please chime in.

So SiriusXM "EXCLUSIVE" content is really down to H. Stern IMHO. I know others will chime in that they do not care, which is fine. But for a lot of us here, and elsewhere, he is the main reason we are staying. Plus the price drop for yearly service. They charge me full price, I will be gone. Even H. Stern is not worth that amount.



Your absolutely right, if Stern goes they will probably fold. But the thing is with Internet radio the quality is all over place, I'll find a station I like and sadly it's like 22kpbs and sound like old AM radio. At least Sirius Internet is consistent and although not very loud, sounds very decent and I find it as good as Pandora and others, although I haven't tried Pandoras premium service. So yeah the only thing stopping me is the sound quality of most IR.
post #99 of 160
I've had sirius subscription(s) since early 2005 and will probably consider to drop it when Howie leaves. It is quite useful to me even without Howie however, as I discovered by signing up 6 months before Howie arrived on Sirius.
Most recently I've been using XM car receiver and TTR1 table-radio at home, sometimes wired to big amp & timeframe speakers.

I find sirius/XM a great combination with OTA/cut-the-cord, providing audio for many of the 'cable tv channels' that i do not subscribe to to pay comcast to get.
For example, CNN and FOX can be interesting to listen to.
On CNBC, those interminable adful american-justice shows can be nice for a long drive.
And the sports MLB/NFL is very nice !
Although for some probably-contractual reason, foxnews is only via the satellite, not via the internet streaming.

My car stereos haven't been good for many years, so that's the limiting factor for my travelling audio... For next vehicle purchase, i am intending to max out the factory stereo, and am questioning whether to get sirius, especially to the sound quality issues on the music channels.

Fwiw:
Occasionally the Howie channels play compilations of awesome music performances that have been on the show.
Via those complations you can hear some amazing & unique renditions at a suitable bandwidth, over the satellite as well as via internet audio stream .
post #100 of 160
Howard is not the reason I have Sirius, but I understand it's the reason many do. To be honest I haven't really listened to him since he went to satellite radio. He was crude enough then and IMO it's just a raunchy show. If Sirius survives when and if he leaves is a good question, they better offer him a ton of money, but they are in debt mega bucks, the last I heard they were they were in debt a billion or two, ouch!
post #101 of 160
I have had Sirus for 100 years, give or take, and have not listened to 1 second of Howard. If he goes, good riddance. I have Sirius for sports. Sports play-by-play to be specific. Thank-you
post #102 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by I WANT MORE View Post

I have had Sirus for 100 years, give or take, and have not listened to 1 second of Howard. If he goes, good riddance. I have Sirius for sports. Sports play-by-play to be specific. Thank-you



Lol!
post #103 of 160
Sirius content is great without Howard too but probably not good enough for Sirius to sustain their business after Howard leaves...
It will be nice if the music channels recover some of the Howie bandwidth for a while after Howie goes - so we can get better quality at least until SiriusXM tanks permanently and their satellites are sold on EBAY as orbital scrap.
post #104 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary J View Post

How about some references for that? In fact the bit rate is variable. If fact bandwidth also varies by channel.

Do a search on bit rate and myfi. Yes, bits vary by channel, some might have 25kbps or less! About 6 years ago, i think the max rate was 38kbps, then they started to really crush it.
People have done the math using a Myfi. The Myfi has a small amount of memory, the trick is to clear it, record a station until it is full. do the math to determine the bit rate..
Back then, even though it was a higher rate than now, people called to complain (including me) and the XM people all seem to have the same script :
"What? You don't like the sound? We haven't gotten any complaints. Have you tried adjusting the bass and treble?"
Like playing with the tone con controls will bring back the sound! Back then, they were still claiming "Digital quality sound". WTF is digital quality sound?
But, getting back to the question, the last time I saw numbers for bit rates, the range was somewhere between 26 -28, but much less for some talk channels and I am sure by now, those traffic report channels probably sound like someone is underwater.
If you were to record something at 28kbps on your pc, it would sound like sat radio. Try the internet streaming version of xm and you'll find it sounds much better. It does because it uses a 128kbps rate, at least 4x better than sat. Of course, dynamically, the sound is still crushed.
post #105 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclark View Post

Do a search on bit rate and myfi. Yes, bits vary by channel, some might have 25kbps or less! About 6 years ago, i think the max rate was 38kbps, then they started to really crush it.
People have done the math using a Myfi. The Myfi has a small amount of memory, the trick is to clear it, record a station until it is full. do the math to determine the bit rate..
Back then, even though it was a higher rate than now, people called to complain (including me) and the XM people all seem to have the same script :
"What? You don't like the sound? We haven't gotten any complaints. Have you tried adjusting the bass and treble?"
Like playing with the tone con controls will bring back the sound! Back then, they were still claiming "Digital quality sound". WTF is digital quality sound?
But, getting back to the question, the last time I saw numbers for bit rates, the range was somewhere between 26 -28, but much less for some talk channels and I am sure by now, those traffic report channels probably sound like someone is underwater.
If you were to record something at 28kbps on your pc, it would sound like sat radio. Try the internet streaming version of xm and you'll find it sounds much better. It does because it uses a 128kbps rate, at least 4x better than sat. Of course, dynamically, the sound is still crushed.



Agreed and I think in this mp3 download era much of our music quality is suffering. Why make it sound good for ear buds?
post #106 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclark View Post

Do a search on bit rate and myfi. Yes, bits vary by channel, some might have 25kbps or less! About 6 years ago, i think the max rate was 38kbps, then they started to really crush it.
People have done the math using a Myfi. The Myfi has a small amount of memory, the trick is to clear it, record a station until it is full. do the math to determine the bit rate..
Back then, even though it was a higher rate than now, people called to complain (including me) and the XM people all seem to have the same script :
"What? You don't like the sound? We haven't gotten any complaints. Have you tried adjusting the bass and treble?"
Like playing with the tone con controls will bring back the sound! Back then, they were still claiming "Digital quality sound". WTF is digital quality sound?
But, getting back to the question, the last time I saw numbers for bit rates, the range was somewhere between 26 -28, but much less for some talk channels and I am sure by now, those traffic report channels probably sound like someone is underwater.
If you were to record something at 28kbps on your pc, it would sound like sat radio. Try the internet streaming version of xm and you'll find it sounds much better. It does because it uses a 128kbps rate, at least 4x better than sat. Of course, dynamically, the sound is still crushed.
Channels are VBR. Yes they are right. The better the playback equipment the better it sounds. I now have it in a upgraded sound system in a BMW and it sounds great. You may also have hearing issues. Also bias issues. Whatever, there are many reports of it sounding great in this thread.
post #107 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary J View Post

Channels are VBR. Yes they are right. The better the playback equipment the better it sounds. I now have it in a upgraded sound system in a BMW and it sounds great. You may also have hearing issues. Also bias issues. Whatever, there are many reports of it sounding great in this thread.



I think your right to a point smile.gif but nothing is going to help the satellite feed, it's just bad. On the other hand the Internet feed is much better but in no way shape or form is it CD quality.
Edited by comfynumb - 10/24/13 at 3:20am
post #108 of 160
Sirius sounds awfully lossy on my 2013 Ford F-150. iTunes music service sounds great.

This is definitely a new problem: I had a standalone XM unit in my last car and it sounded like MP3 quality. This Sirius radio in my truck sounds like 64k streaming Internet audio from 1998.

Very disappointing. frown.gif
post #109 of 160
Off-topic posts removed.

Let's keep it about the sound quality and something a little more technical than "it sucks."

I, for one, would like to hear comparisons between older radios and the new SiriusXM branded radios. Just got the Edge and I can't tell if it actually DOES sound better or it's my brain playing tricks just because it's new and I shelled out $$ for it. I can't A/B the Roady 2 since it fried and this one replaced it.
post #110 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Off-topic posts removed.

Let's keep it about the sound quality and something a little more technical than "it sucks."

I, for one, would like to hear comparisons between older radios and the new SiriusXM branded radios. Just got the Edge and I can't tell if it actually DOES sound better or it's my brain playing tricks just because it's new and I shelled out $$ for it. I can't A/B the Roady 2 since it fried and this one replaced it.



I have the older Sirius replay and it still sounds pretty good, but I think the satellite feed has gotten steadily worse over the past 8 years I've had the service. The internet feed is very decent IMO. One thing I will miss is being able to rewind my music if I want to hear a song again.
post #111 of 160
Yes the sound quality is better with built ins and depends on the car's sound system in my experience. It sounds good in my EDGE and Mariner and better in my BMW with the sound system upgrade option.
post #112 of 160
I'd rather demo them in my house to be able to hear the differences, I've heard some of the best car audio systems and they aren't HT or music room quality. The quality of the satellite feed has steadily degraded over the years, It may be ok for the car but in the house it sounds bad and the internet feed is the only way to go.
post #113 of 160
xm in my 12 Buick LaCrosse sound good.
post #114 of 160
My wife and I have factory Sirius in both of our cars, an '09 Volvo C30 and a '11 Mustang convertible. While CDs and MP3s sound great in the Volvo, Sirius sounds really tinny. The talk/sports stations are particularly painful to listen to. In the Mustang, however, Sirius seems to sound much better, especially when played loud. I think the acoustics of the passenger compartment and the design of the audio system can really make or break satellite radio's sound quality.
post #115 of 160
My free year of Sirius service expires tomorrow, so reading this thread was quite interesting.

I've had the service for years, in my prior vehicle. Despite putting in a very good stereo system, the sound quality of Sirius on it was awful. There were times I thought it was unlistenable.

My new truck came with the service, and it has a decent sounding system. Sirius - from satellite - is awful. It's better from my cell phone service, but Pandora's free "high quality" service is considerably better, and Spotify sounds considerably better than that.

I probably won't renew. The monthly service fee basically gives me "instant on" Sirius service, while I have to wait for bluetooth to synch to use any cell-phone based service. Spotify's service costs about the same and sounds vastly better, so I'm likely going that way, at least until Sirius wakes up and fixes their sound quality problems.

Mike
post #116 of 160
Simply baffled by all of these "sounds good" comments in reference to Sirius... I have an upgraded sound system in my '13 Audi which is only ok (sorry but IMO there is no such thing as a good sound system in a car) and mp3's from an ipod/memory card or a good FM station sound significantly better than the crap from Sirius. Needless to say (though I will) I did not renew Sirius once the "free" subscription expired.
post #117 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfm View Post

Simply baffled by all of these "sounds good" comments in reference to Sirius... I have an upgraded sound system in my '13 Audi which is only ok (sorry but IMO there is no such thing as a good sound system in a car) and mp3's from an ipod/memory card or a good FM station sound significantly better than the crap from Sirius. Needless to say (though I will) I did not renew Sirius once the "free" subscription expired.

I somewhat disagree about the "no such good thing as a good sound system in a car". With the proper amplification, components and imaging, you can make a car sound very good, not monitors on a desk, in a studio good, but it CAN sound good.

But I agree with satellite radio sounding like crap, it's nothing compared to even 128kbps mp3s. Pretty sure Pandora uses 192kbps which sounds nearly flawless to me. Spotify uses 320kbps to premium subscribers which I've heard in my friends car being streamed, sounded amazingly good.

They need to increase the bandwidth, which I imagine is not going to be cheap via satellite.
post #118 of 160
Really only a couple of ways to do it. Change compression methods, which would render existing receivers obsolete (unlikely) or cut enough channels from the lineup to improve the quality on the others. The channel cut would most likely lead to a loss of subscribers and a price hike on the remaining which would shed even more subscribers. Also unlikely. Quality purists such as us will look for alternatives. For the masses the programming appears to be aimed at, I sort of doubt the sound quality is an issue. We're dealing with an America that thinks MP3s and multiplexed stereo FM sounds fine.
post #119 of 160
After 5 years I just dropped Sirius from my Ford Edge because of the decreased sound quality. My daughter played Pandora through my system and it sounded far superior. I do miss the news feeds however. Digital FM and even AM sounds better with their very low bit rates. They use a far superior technology.
post #120 of 160

I am right behind you. 5 radio subscriptions. 

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