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Sirius Sound Quality  

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Does anyone want to chat about Sirius Sound Quality?

I bought a receiver for my wife's expedition last x-mas. No really, I didn't buyt it for me. She really likes it.

However, I think it sounds "tinny", and digital. CD's, and FM sound better.

Is this normal? On google groups, people are saying that sirius sounds great, I cannot disagree more.

Now I am aware that I am playing it throught standard Ford speakers, but still, the quality pales comapared to the other sources.

Is it possible that the install is bad? Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Woodbury
post #2 of 20
Both XM and Sirius do not sound as good as a CD, never will. They both sound quite good though.

What is your setup? Are you directly connected to an aux-in or are you using an FM modulator (this will never sound good) ?
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK Fair enough?

Should it sound as good as FM radio?

What the hell is an FM modulator, and how do I find out if it is hooked up this way?

The install was done by a place called Audio King, where all of the equipment was purchased.

Thanks
Woodbury
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK,

Had a little issue with the bottle last night, after thinking about your post, for two seconds, it is connected via aux-in.

But, should Sirius sound as good as FM radio?

Woodbury
post #5 of 20
Some people believe that the two services sound different. Perhaps it's in the eye of the beholder. I think XM sounds fuller. It definitely sounds superior to FM, and is almost as good as CD on my home system (Music Fidelity A3 amp with JBL S38 IIs). In the car I use FM modulation and it sounds as good as anything does in that car, a loud convertible with ho hum speakers.
post #6 of 20
An FM modulator takes the audio output from the XM reciever and modulates it onto an FM broadcast radio frequency that you can tune in with your radio.
post #7 of 20
My Sirius sounds fantastic.

Kenwood Exceleon 459
Sirius Kenwood Tuner SR901
Sirius Terk antenna.
Infinity speakers
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Woodbury


But, should Sirius sound as good as FM radio?

Woodbury
No, Serius should sound better than FM. That tinny sound you described is caused by digitally compressing the sound to save bandwidth. Your're not the only one to notice this effect with Serius. Several comparisons of Serius to XM claim that XM sounds better (sounds less compressed), but I'm sure many Serius owners would disagree.
post #9 of 20
Hello,

In my opinion XM has some good sonic qualities
but unless they reduce the number of channels
to reduce compression all the money spent on
fancy studios, digital connections and whatever
else will be for naught.

To me while XM can sound passable on
speakers, headphones reveal the sonic flaws
and, unfortunately they seem to center around
the vocal region.

Best regards,

Paul Bigelow
post #10 of 20
I just got Sirius. It is hooked up thru FM modulator. I thought it sounded flat so I hooked up RCA output to my home amplifier and it sounded so much better. These FM modulators are cheap and probably have frequency response of 12Khz or less and degrade sound quality a lot. I am now going to install aftermarket radio so I can go directly.
post #11 of 20
Be sure to get Second Generation equipment if you want the best sound quality possible... as the new chipsets do make the audio sound even better, it's not clear why this is just yet. Still waiting on a technical explaination from one of the equipment providers.

The Kenwood KTC-SR902 is the second generation tuner for Kenwood Direct-Connect headunits. It will also have even better reception with a new second generation single wire magnetic antenna that is now coming available.. and is already here with the Kenwood H2A and AudioVox SRS.
The new antennas are active-gain, as opposed to passive antenna in first generation units.
post #12 of 20
All of this talk about Sirius sound quality is funny to me. My Sirius sounds 'fantastic' just as someone above stated. I am pretty sure that I have 1st gen equipment as I have had it since April 2002.

My setup is:

Kenwood Excelon 817 receiver
Kenwood Excelon 10 Disc CD Changer
Kenwood Sirius Satellite Receiver with Terk Antenna
AudioControl 3.1 Line Driver/Equalizer
Kenwood 6" P601 components with 1" tweeters for front stage
Kenwood HQ 691 6x9 for rear fill
2 Kicker Comp VR 12" dual voice coil 8 ohm subwoofers
MTX 2300 amp for subwoofers
MTX 4320 for interior cab audio
Lightning Audio 1 farad Capacitor
Optima Red Top battery
Monster Cable all around (i know, i know. please no monster flames)

In my opinion, on my setup Sirius comes close to CD sound for most CD's. CD's that are mastered well definitely sound better than Sirius. And FM radio does not hold a candle to Sirius in sound quality or programing. What I would really like is to hear is HD radio and see what that sounds like.

I am quite sure that the sound quality one gets from Sirius is definitely dependent upon your rig so as we all occasionally say, YMMV.

djb
post #13 of 20
HD radio will sound very close to Sirius as it uses the same Lucent PAC codec. On FM it is suppose to be 96kbps and on AM 32kbps for stereo and 20kbps for mono.
post #14 of 20
After just installing a new Kenwood CD head unit with the free Sirius tuner, I can say that Sirius does not come close to CD, and certainly is not better than the best FM signal I’ve ever heard. However I got Sirius partly because the FM reception on my commute is marginal. At least Sirius’ sound is consistent.

I also think that many people just sort of ignore the signal interruptions and multipath issues that occur naturally in FM broadcasts – they are just so used to it. I think if I listened to Sirius for 40 years, I would get used the mp3-like quality.

- Mark
post #15 of 20
After just installing a new Kenwood CD head unit with the free Sirius tuner, I can say that Sirius does not come close to CD, and certainly is not better than the best FM signal I’ve ever heard. However I got Sirius partly because the FM reception on my commute is marginal. At least Sirius’ sound is consistent.

I also think that many people just sort of ignore the signal interruptions and multipath issues that occur naturally in FM broadcasts – they are just so used to it. I think if I listened to Sirius for 40 years, I would get used the mp3-like quality.

- Mark
post #16 of 20
The reason HD radio will fail is programming. Most people won't care if it delivers even SACD sound, because it will be the same crap content of FM radio -- too tight playlists, excessive commercials and DJ stupidity.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by mlaverty
After just installing a new Kenwood CD head unit with the free Sirius tuner, I can say that Sirius does not come close to CD, and certainly is not better than the best FM signal I’ve ever heard. However I got Sirius partly because the FM reception on my commute is marginal. At least Sirius’ sound is consistent.

I also think that many people just sort of ignore the signal interruptions and multipath issues that occur naturally in FM broadcasts – they are just so used to it. I think if I listened to Sirius for 40 years, I would get used the mp3-like quality.

- Mark
Wow. To each his own. As I stated above. Sirius does come close to most cd's but does not sound as good as a well mastered cd. Mark, you must have some outstanding FM signals where you live because in my neck of the woods FM and Sirius are two completely different beasts.

What receiver and tuner do you have? Also, are you running stock speakers?

gammite
post #18 of 20
Gammite, I'm using a Kenwood KDC-322 receiver, Kenwood KTC-SR902 Sirius Tuner, And Kenwood Sirius Antenna. I replaced the stock speakers with Polk GXR6A (6-1/2") in the front, and Polk GXR6E (6-3/4") in the back.

Maybe I'll get a sub someday?

I think really good FM signals have a more stable high-end and more dynamic range then Sirius pop music. I have noticed that the Classical channels seem to have less of the signal-squashing compression and high-end phase shifting.

I do love the Sirius content though!

- Mark
post #19 of 20
In my 3 weeks' time with the dealer installed Sirius in my Infiniti, I'd say that most of the time it's "as good as" FM radio. It's variable so sometimes I can really hear distortion in higher frequencies and sometimes, even on the same song, I cannot. Then again, sometimes the local FM stations here have static. The problems with sound quality on Sirius aren't static, it's that "mushy" sound of an over compressed audio track.
I'd never hook it up to my speakers in the house, but it's quite good enough for the car what with road noise, etc.
And, as someone mentioned, the content can't be beat. The mere fact that I don't have to listen to commercials wins it for me. Add to it the songs I haven't heard in 15 years and I'd say it's worth it, even if it's not "CD quality"
Just my 2 cents.
post #20 of 20
drJJr is right on track. Right now mine is only as good as FM quality because I still have the stock GM stereo in my truck. The FM modulator in my system has a poor sound frequency range and the music sounds compressed as well. The Stereo is tied to the ONSTAR system. I will eventually have it replaced with a Kenwood DVD head unit to match the Kenwood 901 tuner. On the road driving, I can accept some compromises that I can't at home.
Listening to the crap programming and self-hyped local FM stations drives me crazy and I turn the channel. I find my self turning the channel every 5 minutes. Over to CD and play the heck out my selections, which works great, but I like to hear new music and SIRIUS fills the speakers with unedited fresh new tunes. I now only listen to BOB and TOM on a local 101.3FM station and then I am back to SIRIUS. You just Can't beat the new promotion...$6.95/mo for the second car.
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