Sirius Satellite Radio

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by lilchris9, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. lilchris9

    lilchris9 New Member Thread Starter

    Hello all! I've had Sirius at home for awhile now. Recently rebuilt my system with Focal Kanta 2's for L/R/C with a Mcintosh MC452 driving the L/R. The sound quality is more noticeable and worse. Does anyone know if Sirius internet radio has better sound quality than using the home system with antenna?
  2. tman53

    tman53 Vinyl is an Addiction

    That would be a big no. I hope you didn't buy those nice speakers just for SiriusXM.
    wgb113 and johnny q like this.
  3. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Just a heads up (here in Canada), it's free again for 12 days, from Friday Nov. 22 to Dec. 03

    I'll assume its the same in the US, but not sure about anywhere else....
  4. deadcoldfish

    deadcoldfish Forum Resident

    Santa Rosa, CA
    Yes the website or app can be better sound quality than the satellite feed.
    ds58, HiFi Guy, jupiter8 and 3 others like this.
  5. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident

    I found that to be the case as well
  6. Hershiser

    Hershiser Forum Resident

    Agree that in my car the streaming Sirius through air play sounds better than the satellite radio itself, though not as convenient.
  7. whitwye

    whitwye Active Member

    Bellows Falls, VT
    Either way -- I have it in my car with a mid-grade Fosgate system, and at home from the web via a pre-pro -- Sirius is way too thin a sound stream. Which is too bad. It's one of the last refuges of the radio DJ, and some of the better shows would verge on greatness if the sound weren't so compromised.
    rufus t firefly likes this.
  8. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    York, Maine
    Does anyone know where I can read up on how Sirius/XM creates the music they play and how they transmit this to my car via satellite? I listen to this for 2-3 hours during the workweek and I've been noticing some weirdness on some channels with regards to the balance. The other day, I was listening to Classic Vinyl and they played the Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and the guitar was almost non-existent. It sounded very weird. I am wondering if this is from the way they digitized it or if it's from the way they transmitted it.
  9. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Sirius satellite radio is very low fidelity. I am listening to AM radio which is far superior to it in audio quality. WKCE-AM Mid Century Radio on a nice old Fisher wide band tuner is just that. AM which is almost FM quality, and less processed in this case.
  10. Audionerd

    Audionerd Forum Resident

    I really wanted to like Sirius (in the car, so satellite) for the variety and DJ’d channels, but I just couldn’t get past the terrible sound quality (supposedly in the 96k-128k mp3 range) and frequent dropouts, especially for music, which is mostly what I listen to. That money is better spent on Spotify or similar IMO. But to each their own.
    brownie61 and chili555 like this.
  11. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    South Central PA
    I had SiriusXM for a period of about 2 years in the car and in my house. The sound quality was poor for the most part. I think I read that 128kbps is normal for a good day. I called and complained but you can guess where that got me. I finally dropped all of it. Suddenly I was their best customer. I was getting constant letters begging me to come back. I never did take any of their offers.

    All I can say is that if you are considering a subscription, never, ever accept their overpriced subscription offer. Always call and ask for a US representative. The reps from India read from a script and will never bargain with you. Having said all that, Sirius XM is overpriced compared to other services no matter how you cut it.
  12. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    York, Maine
    I don't see how lower bit rate could be messing with the balance though. Lower bitrate can mess with the fidelity, but I've never heard a low bitrate mp3 file where the balance is off. The version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction almost sounded like they had the left channel playing in both speakers so that the fuzz guitar and vocals sounded like they were bleeding over from the right channel. This happened on several songs so I figure that it must be something to do with how they broadcast it.

    Maybe they digitize each channel and broadcast them separately and maybe they have the receiver grab both if possible but switch to one in both channels if they sense a dropout?
  13. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Boston MA
    I wonder if Sirius will ever go with hi res play back?
  14. nick99nack

    nick99nack Forum Resident

    Statesboro, GA
    I just got Sirius free for a few months for my new-to-me F150. The sound is terrible. They have a ton of stations that have to fit within 12.5MHz of bandwidth. The only way to have better sound would be to cut stations, and I can't see them doing that.
  15. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    I love Sirius. I listen in my car and stream through apple TV at home. It is great background music and had great channels.
  16. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    My experience is the app sounds better, but that's not a lot of experience so far. I was involved in the original system testing, it sounded SO great but then once launched the bandwidth got chopped into 57,000 channels. I doubt you get even 96k on a good day. It's just incredibly convenient background music, handy for road trips. I do like hearing new stuff on Alt Nation, and some of the talk on Volume.
    Kray likes this.
  17. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    It is literally not possible on the satellite feed. They could actually do that via the app, that would be a very interesting idea.
    McLover likes this.
  18. jupiter8

    jupiter8 Forum Resident

    NJ, USA
    The app is the way to go. When I listen off the satellite in my 2014 Honda CRV the sound quality is appalling
    Billy Infinity and PhilBiker like this.
  19. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident

    Rockford, MI
    I enjoy the programming in the car. The audio quality of the stream though, is horrendous
    PhilBiker likes this.
  20. bradman

    bradman Forum Resident

    Stream the app from your phone to your car stereo, it will sound better than the radio.
  21. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    I have Sirius in my Subaru Outback and my wife has it in here Mercedes E350. Recently when renewing the promotional price I found that my wife's subscription comes with streaming. So I downloaded the app to my phone and set up my home network devices (TVs, Blu-Ray players) to use the service. (I plan to not renew the service in my Outback when it expires since I can simply stream to the car through Bluetooth moving forward).

    If your subscription contains streaming (I think they may have recently changed their model so that all subscriptions include streaming - but I'm not sure) it's a no brainer to download to phone and other devices as appropriate. The streaming option, IME, sounds considerably better than the over-the-air satellite option. In my car I can easily tell the difference in quality between streaming to my phone and playing over the SAT tuner. On my various music systems the sound is roughly equivalent to other lossy streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, etc.). A nice bonus about the streaming option is that there are many more channels that are not available on the actual satellite.

    Bottom line - My advice is that if you have a home network and can pick up a Blu-ray player that supports a Sirius app (or if your TV or Blu-Ray player already supports a Sirius app!), you'll most likely get much better sound quality on the channels that you like as well as many more channels as well.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    Billy Infinity likes this.
  22. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    Just say you want to cancel the service and they will cut the price and keep cutting. Put a reminder on your calendar and call back when the promotion ends and say you want to cancel they will do the same thing again.
  23. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    Based on what? Have you actually heard Sirius streaming versus the antenna version? The difference is dramatic and stark.
    Billy Infinity likes this.
  24. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Eastern Shore
    Ever since Sirius and XM merged, they compress the hell out of the signal to get more channels.
    Projectman likes this.
  25. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    Irrelevant to the OP's question.

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