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  1. #1

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    Post Satellite radio - don't let them lie

    The dirty secret is that satellite radio sounds worse than FM radio. Sirius sounds like a 64 kpbs mp3 and XM like a 96 kbps mp3. Why are there people who say that satellite radio sounds better? Because they are being paid to come to message boards like this and lie! This is the heaviest volume car audio message board I've found that isn't dedicated to hardcore modifying; the industry has a big stake in prevailing opinion on these pages.

    For some very good discussion from some knowledgable people, there are some threads to reiterate my above contention over and over and over and over and over and over again.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2&page=1&pp=30

    http://www.siriusbackstage.com/forum...ic.php?t=32443

    That second thread is 29 pages long but you'll get what you need off the first. I recommend reading the entire first thread because you get some knowlegable people writing posts.

    Yes, there are dissenters who claim satellite radio sounds good on those threads- these people are lying. The only legitimate reason to prefer satellite radio is trouble with reception of analog FM.
    Last edited by dnewhous; 02-15-2006 at 01:40 AM.

  2. #2

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    No new news in above post. You must not come here too often.

  3. #3

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    I don't know that I would make a blanket statement like "satellite radio sounds worse than FM radio". That is way too subjective, and everybody's tastes are different. For that matter, every "satellite radio" can sound different......basically it probably depends on the overall set-up, and what equipment people are using to listen to them through. But I've listened to my friend's, which sounded alright...and he even admitted that he didn't have "the BEST equipment".....he was cutting corners and saving cost, like most people.

    But honestly, truth be told....a lot of folks probably don't get satellite "for the sound". At least, not at this juncture. Possibly in the future that will change...but right now, I think it's more for the selections and options, and less for the sound.

  4. #4

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    I had XM Radio for more than two years. I had it hooked up to my HiFi (or MidFi or
    whatever YOU want to call it) audio system in my home. And yes it DID sound better
    than FM. But it was still a compressed audio format and I could always hear the artifacts
    from compression of the stream, no matter what new whiz-bang algorythm XM tried.

    The last straw was when XM jacked up the rates.. Cable Company anyone? Sorry I do
    not have to PAY for radio and if you are going to screw me... I am going to tell you go
    get screwed.. I ditched XM and won't ever give a second look at any PAY service for
    "radio". I remember when my cable bill was $7.00 a month and I had better service than
    I do today at $56.00 a month for "basic". I am tired of getting screwed.

  5. #5

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    hmm.... for what i use it for - background music, mostly, or party music - xm is perfectly fine... i much prefer it to radio, because radio has static, which pisses me off... i'd rather have a low bitrate than noise in the background...

    and are we quite sure they use the same bitrate for all channels?
    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

  6. #6

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    When I was in retail people were forever complaining about AM/ FM reception. Many times an aftermarket head unit was worse than the OEM. Plus with the diversity antennas in cars (built in glass) it only gets worse as years go on. My boss' WRX only gets a few stations strong enough to bear listening. XM drops out under bridges or in tunnels but I've never dealt with static. And road trips are nice because you can listen to the same station anywhere.

    I don't have XM in my car but when I'm in one of our demo cars I listen to XM quite a bit. The only thing we listen to at work is talk radio (Sirius and FM), but I like the XM music stations. So it's not just about what sounds slightly better, but depending on listening tastes FM has pretty much nothing to listen to. I like XM 65 (old rap), and you wouldn't hear anything of the sort on FM. Plus I like the fact that XM (and Sirius) can play un- edited songs, so I hear TONS of songs that have never been played on FM radio. Plus, NO commercials. A few years ago (when XM first launched) a guy I met at a show (that worked for XM at the time) made a good point. They hype up the 150 channels, but people buy it for one or two. And with expanded basic cable being $60+, XM or Sirius seems pretty reasonable to me. But I'm in my car for almost two hours a day, and don't have that kind of time for TV when I'm home.


    And if you're so worried about XM/ Sirius "spys" on forums, I'd venture a guess and say that FM radio has at least that many people doing the same thing online (talking **** about XM and Sirius), since more people are paying for radio everyday...

  7. #7

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    I am using Sirius - calrity is amazing and much better than FM.

    It sounds worse if you are transmitting from a portable unit in FM to a receiver.

    Replace the head unit in your car and get a direct feed antena - then its pure digital! I have one in my car. I love it and I am never turning back!


    XM sucks - no content! Sirius octane and Howard Stern are amazing! Not that I care but Nascar is moving to Sirius after this year.
    Last edited by kmartin971; 02-15-2006 at 09:27 AM.
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    Are you kidding me? Satellite isn't as good as FM? I am not sure what set up you are using, maybe you are using that cassette adapter to feed your system in the car, or worse yet, using an FM Modulator. I have XM in the car, and in the home, and it is certainly better SQ that FM.

    I am also thinking of getting Sirius, where else can you get 24 hours of "Hair Nation" :D

    But seriously, anyone that has rode in my car can testify that the XM SQ is an improvement over FM all day long.

    Scott

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmartin971
    It sounds worse if you are transmitting from a prtable unit in FM to a receiver. Get a direct feed antena - then its pure digital! I have one in my car.

    It was direct in my setup and the artifacting was horrid on some channels. It
    seemed strange to me that even number channels had less artifacting than the
    odd number channels, there was some discussion about this on some home
    theater forums I forget exactly what the conclusion was.

    At any rate, it's not for "critical" listening and it's no where near CD Quality.
    For some people it's a deal.. For me it was Cable TV all over again.. Just
    watch, in a few years it will be $30 a month and then $40 and then $50..

    I voted with my dollars, I don't support it.

  10. #10

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    Every satellite station I receive on my Sirius Tuner which is then shunted directly into a compatible controller Kenwood eXcelon deck, sounds like a 96k mp3. 128 on good days.

    FM, while staticky and what not, sounds more like a cheap cassette tape, which, compared to the satellite, is better in my opinion.

    Albeit - Sirius sounds far better on the direct connection than it did through FM modulation... so I'll give it that, but it still sounds like a 96k mp3.

    Lately I ahven't been able to hold a signal for more than 5 seconds for going on a week now. Dark skies around here, and the cloudcover and storms and what not are killing it.
    "With your own attitude it is hard to survive here... But who gives a damn, we are here to change the world, and we dont need a password for that."
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    It is too bad that some of you aren't getting quality service from the sat. providers. I have had Xm for almost 3 years now, w/ the same Alpine Tuner (TUA), and it works without a flaw. I don't have the dropouts, that I have read about on other forums, and I get FWIW a far better sound than 96K mp3.

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red230SX
    It was direct in my setup and the artifacting was horrid on some channels. It
    seemed strange to me that even number channels had less artifacting than the
    odd number channels, there was some discussion about this on some home
    theater forums I forget exactly what the conclusion was.
    But did you read that before you noticed it? Most people will hear whatever you tell them they should be hearing. Even if you heard it first, most people who read that will then swear they hear it now (or always did).

    At any rate, it's not for "critical" listening and it's no where near CD Quality.
    For some people it's a deal.. For me it was Cable TV all over again.. Just
    watch, in a few years it will be $30 a month and then $40 and then $50..

    I voted with my dollars, I don't support it.
    I wouldn't consider FM for "critical" listening, either. And what's the need for crystal clear 20 minutes of commercials per hour? :)

    But just think, when XM is $30 a month, cable will be $150, and gas will be $7.00 a gallon. Of course it will get more expensive over the years.

    I vote with my dollars,too and don't shop at WalMart or Exxon...

  13. #13

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    Is this a political message board?
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom


    I wouldn't consider FM for "critical" listening, either. And what's the need for crystal clear 20 minutes of commercials per hour? :) .
    Agree, I don't do any critical listening in my car for that matter....

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmartin971
    Is this a political message board?
    No, I just found the "voting" comment funny when talking about a satellite radio provider. Which less than 10 million people use. Or the incessant bitching about Monster, which sells wires. I would think if anyone wants to make a difference with their wallet it makes more sense to target slightly larger corporations- the ones I mentioned or plenty of others- that do a few dollars more business than XM or Monster. ;)

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    do you even have satellite radio? Youre a retard.

    But I can say the SQ of XM, while not CD quality, is still pretty good. I have Sirius in my g/f's car and the SQ is not nearly as good as XM. But some stations are better than others, and some songs in the same station are better than others. Makes me kind of mad though, but I am getting it for free so who cares
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom
    But did you read that before you noticed it? Most people will hear whatever you tell them they should be hearing. Even if you heard it first, most people who read that will then swear they hear it now (or always did).



    I wouldn't consider FM for "critical" listening, either. And what's the need for crystal clear 20 minutes of commercials per hour? :)

    But just think, when XM is $30 a month, cable will be $150, and gas will be $7.00 a gallon. Of course it will get more expensive over the years.

    I vote with my dollars,too and don't shop at WalMart or Exxon...

    Thom,

    It was actually something I heard from the beginning and when I stumbled
    upon the particular thread I just digested what they were talking about. I
    didn't even bother to post in that thread. I like to think I have a fairly high
    resolution home audio system and XM was great for casual listening, no doubt
    about it.. And the selection of music played was fantastic. But they raised
    rates and IMHO gave nothing in return (sort of like my gestapo cable provider)


    So in the end I gave XM the heave... In fact I have my mint condition, boxed
    SkyFi sitting here, I need to put it on ebay.

    And I agree FM is terrible, I rarely and I do mean rarely listen to the radio at
    all. In fact I took my amplified antenna and put it back in the closet...

  18. #18

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    Walmart is a bunch of union busting pricks -- I'm in 100% agreement with the "don't shop at Walmart" thing... jerks.
    "With your own attitude it is hard to survive here... But who gives a damn, we are here to change the world, and we dont need a password for that."
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  19. #19

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    I view XM and Sirius like MP3s as theyre handy little tools to have and are good for many applications. However sound quality is not one of them. If you want good sound, listen to a CD. If you want to hear the same station, commercial free while driving coast to coast then XM is your bag. If you want 14,000 songs at your fingertips then MP3's are the way to go. Everything has its niche.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod
    If you want good sound, listen to a CD. If you want to hear the same station, commercial free while driving coast to coast then XM is your bag. If you want 14,000 songs at your fingertips then MP3's are the way to go. Everything has its niche.
    that's a very good way of looking at it, i've never quite seen it like that...
    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

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    yes, everything has a place, and if the quality of Sirius keeps getting worse (it is getting worse, now that i've got reception back - the sky cleared - i'm getting what sounds like grainier and grainier ****tier sounding tracks...) then its "place" will be under my foot. I'm this close to sending the tuner to them with a mail bomb wired in it.
    "With your own attitude it is hard to survive here... But who gives a damn, we are here to change the world, and we dont need a password for that."
    - Anurag

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    please don't do that, then you'll get arrested and we'll miss your automotive knowledge and occasional dark humor...
    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

  23. #23

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    Amen on that Neo!

    We can't loose PBD his sense of humor is awesome... "Brittish" in style I'd say... :)

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    "they're coming to take me away, haha! they're coming to take me away, hoho!"
    "With your own attitude it is hard to survive here... But who gives a damn, we are here to change the world, and we dont need a password for that."
    - Anurag

  25. #25

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    Buy Sirius!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Xm Sucks!
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  26. #26

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    sirius sux too... i have it.
    "With your own attitude it is hard to survive here... But who gives a damn, we are here to change the world, and we dont need a password for that."
    - Anurag

  27. #27

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    You have got to be kidding. Sucks compared to what? Much better than FM radio!
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  28. #28

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    XM & Sirius are both going to go down the crapper, I predicted this before both companies posted massive losses this week, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to see this technology wouldn't sell when you have so many other free options available out there.

  29. #29

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    are they legal options?
    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

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by PoweredByDodge
    Walmart is a bunch of union busting pricks -- I'm in 100% agreement with the "don't shop at Walmart" thing... jerks.
    Not busting on all unions, but the types of people with regard to retail unions are truly overpaid, undertalented, unmotivated people. There's nothing right at all about people making $20+/hour to scan groceries. And telling these types of people to take 6 months off for the spirit of the team is completely ridiculous. They ought to thank the God's above that any company has willingly paid them that much money to stand and scan for as long as they have.

    Electricians, Plumbers, Data Cablers.......fine.

    Grocery clerks? give me a break.

    If you don't like minimum wage, up your skillset. Don't rely on a bargain basement job to support your laziness.
    .
    comment comment comment comment. bitchy.
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