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  1. #1

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    Question How much do you like your satellite radio?

    I am asking this question because it appears (according to home users) that Sirius has better sound quality than XM. So I'd like to know, on a scale from 1 to 10, how much you like satellite radio compared to FM in sound quality (with 1 to 5 for liking satellite radio less than FM). I'd also like to know whether you use XM or Sirius, whether you use a portable or a fixed satellite radio tuner (for those with satellite radio ready receivers), whether you use external amps or just the HU for power to the main speakers, and whether you have a "reference" level HU (Pioneer and Kenwood being the only brands that offer one AFAIK). I want to see if the sound difference between XM and Sirius becomes more noticable the better the car stereo equipment used.

    And I think this Sirius/XM sound quality difference is a property of the transmission, not the equipment used. Also, I'd like to exclude anyone using FM demodulation for their satellite radio/car stereo link from the survey.

    This isn't scientific, but I'd like to see if there's a trend.

    If anyone has had a chance to compare both XM and Sirius on the same system that would be great, but I don't expect that to be the case for anyone.

  2. #2

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    to begin, i'll note that you can't test both sirius and xm on the same system, the HU has to change (as far as i know, at least; i dunno if there's a workaround).

    i had sirius for a year on a midlevel kenwood and fm is totally blown away by it. it was a hardwired tuner, no portability or modulation involved. at the time, the stock speakers were being driven by the HU.

    if there is a difference between the two, it should become more pronounced as the equipment - ears included - gets better. same as you, i'm under the impression that sirius is geared towards SQ and XM is geared towards teenieboppers (as mac so eloquently referred to them :)).
    It's not good, very fundamentally simply not good. - geolemon

    "Its not good enough until we have real-time fearmongering. I want my fear mongered as it happens." - Shizelbs

  3. #3

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    Well, huh. Xm has much more expansive plalists than Sirius. Is that what you do to appeal to teeniboppers? I'm not saying you're wrong, just saying that there's some inconsistency in their strategy here. A lot of ADULTS choose XM because of the better playlists. Maybe the two companies should trade DJs.

    I have XM internet radio. Sirius internet radio only broadcasts at an analog modem capable bit rate so it is not worth considering.

  4. #4

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    strange; i was under the exact opposite impression, but having never experienced xm, i can't say for sure either way.

    by better, what do you mean? because part of the reason i liked sirius so much is that i would get to hear out-of-the-way stuff i'd never hear otherwise.
    It's not good, very fundamentally simply not good. - geolemon

    "Its not good enough until we have real-time fearmongering. I want my fear mongered as it happens." - Shizelbs

  5. #5

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    rating: 6.5

    alpine 9831 with siralp1 tuner, stock speakers, will be upgrading whole system this spring.

    The best way i can explain my listening is sat sounds like a 96 bit rate mp3. the vocals arent high, and the bass hits arent the same tone as if you had the CD or FM, it has a strong hit, but its a different tone somewhat. Only reason I'll never leave sat is for the selection, the sound quality isnt impressive though for me.

  6. #6

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    Originally posted by neomagus00
    strange; i was under the exact opposite impression, but having never experienced xm, i can't say for sure either way.

    by better, what do you mean? because part of the reason i liked sirius so much is that i would get to hear out-of-the-way stuff i'd never hear otherwise.
    By better I mean wider. I have seen counltess comments that go like this

    "XM's sond quality sucks, but I get it for the variety."

    "I got tired of XM's obscure playlists and switched to Sirius because my interests are more hit based."

    "I get bored in a few hours with Sirius."

    The answer can change depending on your genre of interest. I remember reading an argument about XM vs. Sirius for country, and it came down to one had a channel that concentrated more on classical country (Kenny Rodgers stuff) vs. a more contemporary seleciton on the other. I don't recall which is which. But the general rule of thumb that XM has wider playlists is definitely true, and I've seen that reiterated time and time again.

    For my own interests - 80's big hair metal (hard rock, really) XM 41's playlists are WAY wider than Sirius. I had a 3 day trial from Sirius. There's a page where you can check whether something is played on Sirius, and I never would have heard anything from the band "Cornerstone" if it weren't for XM. They have only 1 CD released in the U.S.
    Last edited by dnewhous; 03-18-2005 at 11:09 AM.

  7. #7

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    I run my XM MyFi through the FM modulator on some stock speakes. I don't see a problem with it but again it's the selection that keeps me coming back. I didn't exactly buy the MyFi for my car either. I got a good deal and it's portable so hell I can record some stuff then have tunes everywhere I go.

    i rate it a twenty two million two hundred twenty two thousand on a scale of 1-5.

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  8. #8

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    I have XM, but only because I have Pioneer. The only way to be able to switch(as far as i know) is through an FM modulator. I'm not sure if XM has better or worse sound quality than Sirius, but I like Sirius' stations better. On a sound quality scale, if 10 is comparitive to an excellent recorded CD, id give it an 8. About the same quality, if not a tad better than a mp3 recorded at 128. Plus, to my knowledge none of the stations mess with the music(like boost certain frequencies). Price doesnt matter any more as well as XM is going up in price to 12.99(same as sirius). It all depends on your type of music honestly. XM is tuned to more of the older crowd whereas Sirius is more to the young crowd. Having listened to both thats my take on it anyway. Im not impressed with XMs punk/rock stations whereas i like Sirius' mucho better
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  9. #9

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    Content, not sound quality, appears to be everything for satellite radio users. I guess Ibiquity is S.O.L.'d.

    XM is definitely doing something to muck up their sound quality, because I downloaded Nero and made my own 48 kbps mp4 file for a song that I thought sounded underwhelming on XM and it sounded WAY better than XM. It blew away a 128 kbps mp3. I was a bit taken aback, it was like, woah, this **** really does work! And this is using EXACTLY the same digital compression scheme that XM uses.

    The most classic way to mess up your sound is to use analog compression on the sound. The theory is to make the quiet parts louder for listening in a noisy car and to provide a more consistent treble/mid/bass balance. They do it all the time with FM.

    On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being DVD-A quality, I give XM satellite radio a 3.5 in sound quality. But it's the content, not the sound that draws me.
    Last edited by dnewhous; 03-18-2005 at 09:26 PM.

  10. #10

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    I've listened to both for a while, XM at one job, and sirius now at RS, and I prefer sirius. From what I remember, XM was very repetative, the same playlist over, and over, and over. Now this was a few years ago, so it might have changed. Pioneer also now has a sirius tuner available for their HU's. I don't know if it'll work on your's or not cody, but it will on mine. :) The base price of XM, was $9.99 now $12.99, only includes the music channels though doesn't it? I think I saw a chart somewhere, probably work cause we sell sirius, that if you want everything included, it was around $18-19 for XM. Where as I know that for sirius, $12.95 gets you everything, not just music.
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  11. #11

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    The new XM price will include everything.

  12. #12

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    Originally posted by dnewhous
    The new XM price will include everything.
    not ALL of the premium channels. =D
    cats.vans.bag...

  13. #13

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    XM includes everything in their base price except for like...the playboy channel and maybe a couple of others
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  14. #14

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    yea but the new price doesn't include EVERYTHING.
    cats.vans.bag...

  15. #15

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    i must be getting some really ****ty mp3s or really good XM....
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  16. #16

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    Originally posted by exalted512
    i must be getting some really ****ty mp3s or really good XM....
    -Cody
    Perhaps ****ty mp3s? I agree with the other guy, it's as good as a 96 kbps mp3, but it ought to sound better.

  17. #17

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    I like my XM...have it in 2 vehicles. and will have it on my new Yamaha home model when they come in.

    sound q is excellent- while not quite cd...still 100% better then fm
    Peace sells, but who's buying?

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