Sirius or XM. Sound Quality and Future Enhancments - Page 8 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #211 of 321 Old 02-03-2016, 04:49 PM
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so why are you telling us?
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post #212 of 321 Old 04-26-2016, 09:30 AM
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As a status update to my earlier post about Sirius/XM audio quality, I cancelled my subscription and have now become a disciple of Spotify. Although I will miss some of the curated shows, especially Dave Koz, it's a minor loss for much better audio quality with Spotify Premium. Plus, I save $10/month, enough for a couple of lattes from Starbucks.
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post #213 of 321 Old 04-26-2016, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bwturner1951 View Post
As a status update to my earlier post about Sirius/XM audio quality, I cancelled my subscription and have now become a disciple of Spotify. Although I will miss some of the curated shows, especially Dave Koz, it's a minor loss for much better audio quality with Spotify Premium. Plus, I save $10/month, enough for a couple of lattes from Starbucks.
Right but now you use your internet bandwidth for playing background music.
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post #214 of 321 Old 04-26-2016, 10:16 AM
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Right but now you use your internet bandwidth for playing background music.
There's no such thing as 'background' music in my house.
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post #215 of 321 Old 04-26-2016, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bwturner1951 View Post
As a status update to my earlier post about Sirius/XM audio quality, I cancelled my subscription and have now become a disciple of Spotify. Although I will miss some of the curated shows, especially Dave Koz, it's a minor loss for much better audio quality with Spotify Premium. Plus, I save $10/month, enough for a couple of lattes from Starbucks.
Spotify has plenty of curated playlists. I have all 4 - Spotify, Sirius, Starbucks and bandwidth. Not worried about the pocket change.
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post #216 of 321 Old 04-27-2016, 07:38 AM
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Spotify has plenty of curated playlists. I have all 4 - Spotify, Sirius, Starbucks and bandwidth. Not worried about the pocket change.
I did say curated *shows*, with a live host, like Dave Koz. Maybe hosted would have been a better word? Does Spotify have those? Please enlighten me on where to find if so.

I'm happy for you that you have everything, including petty cash.
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post #217 of 321 Old 06-12-2017, 09:16 AM
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Listened a bit while it was free again, but it seems like sound quality is still pretty bad.
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post #218 of 321 Old 06-12-2017, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Overrid3 View Post
Listened a bit while it was free again, but it seems like sound quality is still pretty bad.
Yes all the temp free listeners say that. The others know the SQ keeps getting better because of better variable bit rate packing and compression algorithms.

Last edited by Gary J; 06-12-2017 at 03:20 PM.
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post #219 of 321 Old 06-12-2017, 03:12 PM
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Read in a recent a/v magazine that one editor ended up choosing a car because of the type of satellite tuner. Even though Sirius and XM are one company, some cars have tuners that can only tune Sirius, and some can only tune XM. Generally, XM seems to have better audio. And it's not always brand, as apparently even the same brand may use Sirius or XM tuners in different vehicles. Not sure if there are any cars that can tune both?
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post #220 of 321 Old 06-13-2017, 10:06 AM
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^ I have a 2017 Chevy Bolt (Electric Vehicle) and it has a "SXM radio" that tunes both "providers".
I've had XM in previous vehicles... the sound quality of the satellite receiver in the Bolt seems much better than any I've had before.
I'd rate it as "acceptable" now vs "poor" in previous vehicles.
To put my money where my mouth is.... I have paid for a full year SXM subscription after my 3-month trial expires.

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post #221 of 321 Old 06-13-2017, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by replayrob View Post
^ I have a 2017 Chevy Bolt (Electric Vehicle) and it has a "SXM radio" that tunes both "providers".
I've had XM in previous vehicles... the sound quality of the satellite receiver in the Bolt seems much better than any I've had before.
I'd rate it as "acceptable" now vs "poor" in previous vehicles.
To put my money where my mouth is.... I have paid for a full year SXM subscription after my 3-month trial expires.
FYI - It's technically XM, not both providers.

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post #222 of 321 Old 06-13-2017, 03:05 PM
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Even though it may be labeled SiriusXM, that just means it's a newer radio or even just an updated interface or buttons since the merger. It doesn't mean that it has dual tuners.
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post #223 of 321 Old 06-14-2017, 08:37 AM
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^ Thanks guys.... I think

When I registered the Bolt SXM radio.. the website gave me three choices...
1) Sirius Radio
2) XM Radio
3) SXM Radio

So, going forward... my "SXM" radio only receives XM programming?

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post #224 of 321 Old 06-14-2017, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by replayrob View Post
^ Thanks guys.... I think

When I registered the Bolt SXM radio.. the website gave me three choices...
1) Sirius Radio
2) XM Radio
3) SXM Radio

So, going forward... my "SXM" radio only receives XM programming?
It gave you three choices, but the reality is that programming comes in two flavors, Sirius and XM. Newer SiriusXM branded radios are based off the XM satellites.

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post #225 of 321 Old 06-15-2017, 10:14 AM
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^ is the programming identical between the two sets of sats?

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post #226 of 321 Old 06-15-2017, 10:42 AM
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^ is the programming identical between the two sets of sats?
Yes, just different channel numbers. Although, MLB/NFL may be the outliers as I don't think they are on legacy Sirius if I remember correctly...

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post #227 of 321 Old 06-15-2017, 11:27 AM
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^ Thanks!

I guess that's why I had to indicate which of the three branded (Sirius, XM, SXM) radios I had when creating my account.
My online/streaming channel numbers do line up with my Bolt SXM radio channel numbers.

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post #228 of 321 Old 07-09-2017, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by replayrob View Post
I'd rate it as "acceptable" now vs "poor" in previous vehicles.

Same here. Rented a 2017 Range Rover Sport and it was better than my 2010 Passat but still not "CD quality" or even FM radio quality.

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post #229 of 321 Old 07-09-2017, 09:51 PM
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Same here. Rented a 2017 Range Rover Sport and it was better than my 2010 Passat but still not "CD quality" or even FM radio quality.
I don't believe SiriusXM has increased their bitrates, so the quality of their transmissions surely isn't getting better. According to wikipedia, XM's standard bitrate is still 39 kbit/s for stereo channels, an 16 kbit/s for mono talk channels. That's an incredibly low bitrate, and no matter how good their compression algorithm is, it's going to lose a ton of audio information in the process. The only way SiriusXM can get around that is to have fewer channels, allowing each remaining channel to get more bandwidth. But they insist on have more channels of lower quality than fewer channels of higher quality.

I wonder how much of the perceived increase in quality from older to newer cars is due to modern sat radio players doing a lot of post-processing, vs older models simply playing the original signal. (Maybe?) I can say that the sat radios in my 2010 Toyota and my 2016 Mazda both sound awful. Sat radio is significantly worse than just playing audio from my phone via Bluetooth. And that's even despite Bluetooth's lossy compression artifacts... it's still better than sat radio. (A lot of people aren't aware that Bluetooth recompresses the audio stream, so you lose even more audio information when using Bluetooth vs a usb connection or analog cable.)
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post #230 of 321 Old 07-10-2017, 04:49 AM
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I don't believe SiriusXM has increased their bitrates, so the quality of their transmissions surely isn't getting better. According to wikipedia, XM's standard bitrate is still 39 kbit/s for stereo channels, an 16 kbit/s for mono talk channels.
That article starts with -

"This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)
This article needs to be updated. (November 2010)"

Do not post false/misleading info.
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post #231 of 321 Old 07-10-2017, 03:59 PM
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That article starts with -

"This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)
This article needs to be updated. (November 2010)"

Do not post false/misleading info.
It's entirely possible the wiki is out of date or incorrect, and I meant to add that disclaimer in my last post. But okay, let's pretend the Wikipedia article is completely incorrect and go at this from another angle. Regardless of the exact bitrate numbers, XM would have to do one or more of the following to increase the quality of their audio streams:
  • Launch new, higher bandwidth satellites into orbit.
  • Launch additional satellites into orbit.
  • Reduce the total number of channels.

Can anyone here confirm if SiriusXM has done any of those above 3 items over the years? If so, any details?

Each satellite only has a certain amount of bandwidth available to it. Each channel they provide takes a certain amount of bandwidth. More channels squeezed into their finite bandwidth means less bandwidth per channel (on average). They can reduce bandwidth on some channels that don't depend on audio quality (such as the talk channels) allowing them to increase bandwidth on other channels that do depend on audio quality (such as some of the more popular music channels), and they do indeed do exactly that. That only gets you so far, though, when you have such a large number of channels.
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Last edited by jreiter; 07-10-2017 at 04:00 PM. Reason: typo
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post #232 of 321 Old 07-10-2017, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jreiter View Post
It's entirely possible the wiki is out of date or incorrect, and I meant to add that disclaimer in my last post. But okay, let's pretend the Wikipedia article is completely incorrect and go at this from another angle. Regardless of the exact bitrate numbers, XM would have to do one or more of the following to increase the quality of their audio streams:
  • Launch new, higher bandwidth satellites into orbit.
  • Launch additional satellites into orbit.
  • Reduce the total number of channels.

Can anyone here confirm if SiriusXM has done any of those above 3 items over the years? If so, any details?

Each satellite only has a certain amount of bandwidth available to it. Each channel they provide takes a certain amount of bandwidth. More channels squeezed into their finite bandwidth means less bandwidth per channel (on average). They can reduce bandwidth on some channels that don't depend on audio quality (such as the talk channels) allowing them to increase bandwidth on other channels that do depend on audio quality (such as some of the more popular music channels), and they do indeed do exactly that. That only gets you so far, though, when you have such a large number of channels.
They now use variable bit rate (learn what that is) and compression algorithms (learn what that is) that get better almost every day.

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post #233 of 321 Old 07-10-2017, 04:56 PM
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They now use variable bit rate (learn what that is) and compression algorithms (learn what that is) that get better almost every day.

repeat - Do not post false/misleading info.
For what it's worth (and I know that's probably not much to you) I do know what variable bit rates are and what compression algorithms are. I'm a big proponent of variable bit rates, and they are definitely a more efficient use of bandwidth. That only does so much, though, and it's not a magic bullet. Compression algorithms face a similar issue. They can get better and better, but they still have to know what audio information to toss out to make the stream fit within the limited bandwidth. And given the low bandwidth, they have to toss out an awful lot of audio information. I was unaware they were using VBR now, so that's good news. Improved codecs? Also good to know. So does sat radio sound better than it did years ago? Maybe. To my ears, it still sounds pretty bad. Maybe I just haven't tried the right radio yet.

But alright Gary, you win. I give up. Your insulting, derogatory, generally unpleasant replies have defeated my will to engage in conversation. In the future, instead of insulting someone how about adding to the conversation? For example, rather than simply claiming my post is false and misleading, maybe provide some improved or more accurate information. It's how conversations work. I know the internet makes it really easy to be a jerk, but you can rise above that. You can do it!
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post #234 of 321 Old 07-10-2017, 05:08 PM
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Sorry have not the time or inclination in conversation just correction.
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post #235 of 321 Old 07-16-2017, 08:44 AM
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I don't understand why people are "arguing" over an outdated product.

I was a SiriusXM(XM before they merged) for close to 9 years, and enjoyed it up until about 2-3 years ago when I realized that I could get EVERYTHING on the service, INCLUDING Howard Stern:

1. MUCH MUCH BETTER SOUND QUALITY. 128Kbps and higher
2. All the sports on MUCH BETTER services. Meaning their own(MLB/NFL/NHL). And some for free(Verizon customers get NFL Mobile. Even tracfone/prepaid customers using CDMA/Verizon Unlocked phones)
3. RADIO apps, even set at the HIGHEST SETTINGS, don't use a lot of DATA. So listening to them in the car, even on a 6-8 hour trip does not use a heck of a lot. Rememember, it is radio.

I think most would find they are better served just using apps on their Iphones/Androids, and connecting to their radios via Bluetooth/direct connect via usb/aux.

You won't be losing anything, and the sound quality alone is SO SUPERIOR to SIRIUSXM that it is not even worth the debate/arguing at all.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #236 of 321 Old 07-16-2017, 09:01 AM
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Ok your 2 cents vs. 31.3M - "NEW YORK, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SiriusXM today announced that it ended 2016 with over 31.3 million subscribers, adding more than 1.7 million net subscriber additions in the year, exceeding the company's increased guidance of 1.7 million net subscriber additions. Self-pay net subscriber additions in 2016 were 1.66 million, exceeding the company's increased guidance of 1.6 million and resulting in self-pay subscriptions of approximately 26 million at year end."
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post #237 of 321 Old 07-18-2017, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by STEELERSRULE View Post
I don't understand why people are "arguing" over an outdated product.

I was a SiriusXM(XM before they merged) for close to 9 years, and enjoyed it up until about 2-3 years ago when I realized that I could get EVERYTHING on the service, INCLUDING Howard Stern:

1. MUCH MUCH BETTER SOUND QUALITY. 128Kbps and higher
2. All the sports on MUCH BETTER services. Meaning their own(MLB/NFL/NHL). And some for free(Verizon customers get NFL Mobile. Even tracfone/prepaid customers using CDMA/Verizon Unlocked phones)
3. RADIO apps, even set at the HIGHEST SETTINGS, don't use a lot of DATA. So listening to them in the car, even on a 6-8 hour trip does not use a heck of a lot. Rememember, it is radio.

I think most would find they are better served just using apps on their Iphones/Androids, and connecting to their radios via Bluetooth/direct connect via usb/aux.

You won't be losing anything, and the sound quality alone is SO SUPERIOR to SIRIUSXM that it is not even worth the debate/arguing at all.

Just my 2 cents.
Yeah I agree with STEELERSRULE. I loved my various pre-merger XM receivers, starting in 2002. But when I bought a car with built-in Sirius in 2012 I had real problems with the sound quality, which is why I'm on this thread. Fortunately that was also my first car with Bluetooth -- I eventually learned how to use it with podcasts and music, and haven't missed SiriusXM since. There's nothing there I want, though I can see how it would still be good for sports. And for fanboy Gary J.
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post #238 of 321 Old 07-18-2017, 11:32 AM
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Yeah I agree with STEELERSRULE. I loved my various pre-merger XM receivers, starting in 2002. But when I bought a car with built-in Sirius in 2012 I had real problems with the sound quality, which is why I'm on this thread. Fortunately that was also my first car with Bluetooth -- I eventually learned how to use it with podcasts and music, and haven't missed SiriusXM since. There's nothing there I want, though I can see how it would still be good for sports. And for fanboy Gary J.
That's a YOU problem. Personal preference is always a losing argument.
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post #239 of 321 Old 07-20-2017, 03:18 PM
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That's a YOU problem. Personal preference is always a losing argument.
Gary J,

You can put all the shekels you earn towards anything you want. You earned them.

But this thread is about SOUND QUALITY, and the current service of SIRIUSXM just does not compare to other products out there.

Not even close.

If people ask me, I will be honest with them. And tell them to SKIP this service for now. You can simply do better elsewhere.

Can't argue with the numbers you put up. Although some here would. Not sure if this is true or not: But SIRIUSXM counts UNSOLD cars with 3-months of prepaid service as SUBSCRIBERS. Cars with NO OWNERS, sitting on lots.

Or, at least, it was SAID they did. Again, I have nothing to back that up. But when it is brought up, fanboys get ANGRY, so there must be some truth somewhere too it.

They would not be the first company to "cook the books" to make them look more profitable than they actually are.

Whatever. There is just better stuff out there in 2017. If this was 2007, I would be in agreement with you. just not anymore.
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post #240 of 321 Old 07-20-2017, 03:22 PM
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But this thread is about SOUND QUALITY, and the current service of SIRIUSXM just does not compare to other products out there.

Not even close.
What a ridiculous thing to say. Yeah my HT does sound better. I think we're done here.
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