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Sirius: listening via satellite or via internet- pros/cons for sound quality!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, newbie poster here. I am wondering if anyone has direct experience with PC based Sirius Internet Radio, and whether or not it has better sound quality than the Satellite based radios, (not including: cellular, wireless, wifi, ipod/ipad setups). I have a Sportster radio hooked up to my stereo which gets a satellite feed from the Sirius satellites in orbit. Most of the time the SQ is OK to GOOD, sometimes even amazing. But lately is is getting rather poor, and due to the phase-ie sound and bloated bass and i am considering switching sources. (The mids and highs are good with my setup). Therefore, I have a few questions:


1) Is the bandwidth higher with the Internet based setup vs the over the air satellite feeds? I read the Satellite feeds are 25-75KBPS or so, and also it is a VBR signal. Is the Internet 128-250 KBPS?

2) Does the Internet based Sirius Internet radio transmit a VBR signal?
From Sirius I found:
Q)Why do I hear different quality audio at different times when I listen to the service?
A)WiFi coverage should provide consistently high-quality audio but you may notice variability in audio quality when your device is connecting to the cellular network. The SiriusXM Internet Radio application uses "variable bitrates" in order to provide you with the highest quality of audio possible given your cellular network conditions.

3) If the Internet based signal is better, will it matter if my ISP gets THEIR feed from all satellites? is there a difference between ISP satellite feeds vs personal satellite feeds?

Thanks in advance for your help!
post #2 of 6
Great questions YeOldMetalHead. I'll be interested in hearing responses as I have the same issue with Sirus/XM. I'm using a Sirius Home Connect Tuner with an external roof mounted antenna that feeds the sat signal into my Denon 789 receiver. My newer Denon 2112ci is internet capable (ethernet, not wi-fi) so I could easily convert to that if the bit rates/SQ are better via internet Sirius/XM.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Exactly! I am considering running Ethernet from my PC out to the stereo into an inexpensive D/A, but I am having trouble locating a Ethernet capable one. I also could upgrade my Universal player, the newer ones have Ethernet capabilities, but either options are kind of expensive/involved just to get better SQ from Sirius. (However, since internet/computer based music is getting so mainstream now, upgrading my UP may be the best way to future proof my stereo). So i am awaiting others input to even see if it is even worthwhile.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Just an update, I went with a full size Sirius home receiver, the SRH2000. Though Internet based streaming may sound better with the appropriate hardware, this was the best solution for me at this time.

Please close thread, thanks!!
post #5 of 6
let's not close the thread just yet

I am wondering the same thing: seems most receivers have switched to Sirius via Ethernet

I am seeing big differences in performance: a new Onkyo TX8050 in my office has Sirius via Ethernet: it is connected via wired Ethernet to a high speed cable connection shared with 30 users: sound quality is good but I get occasional loss of music: switched to an SRH2000 and that gives me a solid signal: not sure if sound quality is better or not

at home I have a new Marantz 8801: it also uses Ethernet for Sirius: music playback is solid and there are no issues or dropouts: I also have a Nuvo Sirius tuner (uses Sirius connect tuner with antenna) and the sound quality is about the same

So the same question: can anyone tell us which connection is best for audio quality?
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
stereo pics 038.jpg 1214k .jpg file DSC00736.JPG 4355k .JPG file

Ok, Mark. I would still like to know which is better in SQ myself. At some point i may still want to try the Internet based service if:

a) the SQ can consistently be superior to the Sat.
b) If hardware/protocols for a Eithernet to DAC hookup matures and becomes available.


Well, for a baseline comparison of the new receiver vs the old one:

The full size unit does not have any of the wavy/computer sound that the smaller Streamer had. Plus I get much better High Frequency sound quality, and more solid sounding bass. (as apposed to hollow sounding bass notes) In my first post i stated the HF was good with the little radio, but wow, was I wrong!!

Additionally, the sound level is a better match with my digital front end, meaning they are more level matched when switching from a CD to the Sirius. The full size radio has a much higher output level.

I think the RG6 based antenna, (with 3 full bars and no dropouts) contributes some to better SQ compared to the little SMB antenna.

I enclosed 2 pics so people can see the two Sat radios i am referring to.
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