SiriusXM Buyers Guide

Discussion in 'SiriusXM 2.0' started by TSS Taylor, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    It's been a while since we've done something like this but I feel it's about time to put together a thorough SiriusXM buyers guide. Whether you are new to Satellite Radio or just need a bit of a refresher to upgrade your radio, etc. Hopefully this thread can answer some of your questions.

    UPDATE January 28
    SiriusXM has merged it's billing, which means buying a new radio or adding a radio onto your account just got easier. In the past if you had an XM account and bought a Sirius radio you would need an entirely new subscription at full price and wouldn't be eligible for the Family plan discount. That has recently changed. However if you plan on listening to Premium Content it's still more cost effective to either be on the Sirius side or the XM side. So if you had XM and wanted more than the regular lineup here is a list of the Premium Content for XM or if you had Sirius and wanted more than the regular lineup here is a list of the Premium Content for Sirius.

    The link to the Merged Billing Discussion can be found here

    UPDATE March 13
    The SIRIUS SCC1 Tuner is in limited stock and will be going away over the next few months. If you are looking to get it to put Sirius in a SIRIUS-Ready Aftermarket Headunit it would be best to buy now before it's too late. Also if you want to simulate Factory Like SIRIUS you should get it now as well.

    UPDATE July 15
    The following radios that we have some stock of now are technically discontinued. Get them while you can.
    Sirius Starmate 8
    Sirius SCC1
    SiriusXM Lynx Portable Internet Player
    XMp3i Portable (Refurbished)

    Going to breakdown this guide in 3 sections.
    1. Factory SiriusXM for your Car
    2. Aftermarket SiriusXM for the Car, Home or Portable
    3. SiriusXM Internet Radio for the Car, Home or Portable

    1. Factory SiriusXM for your Car
    The first section is fairly straight forward. If you bought a car with Sirius or XM in it, you will need to determine if it's equipped with Satellite Radio or it's just Satellite Radio Ready. Those that have Satellite Radio ready to go will allow you to hit the Sat/Sirius/XM button and you will at least be able to hear the Preview Channel which is 1 for XM or 184 for Sirius. If you can access and hear those channels all you need to do is get the Radios ID or ESN in order to activate it. I highly recommend activating online since it's way easier and faster than via phone. Most new cars offer a Free Trial Period for a few months so this step you won't need to do off the bat, but when the trial runs up just go here to activate or call 1-866-528-7474

    If for some reason you can't get to the Preview Channels 1 for XM or 184 for Sirius it means you don't have the Satellite Radio Tuner in the vehicle or it's not properly setup. Often times you will have to contact your car manufacturers Parts Dept to order the Sirius or XM Tuner in order to get it going. We also have many Sirius Satellite Radio Tuners and XM Satellite Radio Tuners that will simulate that Factory Like operation, some even allowing connection of an iPod/iPhone. Those kits we offer at TSS-Radio are generally way more affordable than what the manufacturer will sell them for. Our kits run about $200 versus the manufacturer ones going from $300-$900.

    One advantage of getting the tuner separate is you can often have the choice between Sirius and XM. Depending on what you want to listen to and if you have other Sirius or XM accounts you may want to choose one or the other. As of not the billing is separate for both Sirius and XM and it's not quite merged. That will likely change in the near future.

    2. Aftermarket SiriusXM for the Car, Home or Portable
    The aftermarket segment consists of people buying Plug and Play (aka Dock and Play) Radios, Portable Radios, Radios for the Home and other needs.

    One of the great advantages of buying a Plug and Play Radio is being able to bring it around between various places and only having one subscription to pay for. This is different than say having multiple SiriusXM accounts for various cars which becomes a lot more expensive per month. The Plug and Play Radio concept allows you to streamline your subscription and then bring it in from the car to the home to the office, etc. If you do it right you can get a lot more out of your Satellite Radio.

    Most Plug and Play Radios come already with a Car Kit. But the last couple years the XM Onyx and SiriusXM Edge have offered kits that include Home Kits instead of Car Kits.

    Current Sirius Plug and Play Radios

    As of now there is just one main current Sirius branded Plug and Play Radio and that is the Starmate 8 The Starmate 8 has a 30 Minute Replay Feature to Pause and Rewind live Satellite Radio, 10 Presets, and a Blue Screen. It includes everything you need to connect it in your car, but many will want to install it with an FM Direct Adapter for a cleaner look and better sound quality than simply the PowerConnect FM Transmission. It's also nice if you have an Aux jack on the front of your car radio, then you can use that for great sound quality.

    We don't expect to see a lot of new Sirius branded radios in the future. The prominent technology is now more focused on the XM or SiriusXM side of the product lines. Those radios can provide more channels and more options than the Sirius side of the product lines.

    Current XM and SiriusXM Plug and Play Radios
    There are a lot of options for radios if you are on the XM and SiriusXM Side. The most popular current XM Radio is the XM Onyx. It's offered in two variations. Onyx with a Home Kit and the Onyx with a Car Kit
    The option with the Home kit is great for anyone who simply wants to listen at home. And setup is a lot easier since you just set the Antenna by a window, plug in the power and connect the RCA Audio cables to your Home Stereo.

    The Onyx has a Color Screen with changeable background colors to match your cars interior scheme, and 10 Presets.

    The SiriusXM Edge has a few more features than the Onyx and the Screen is more vivid as well. It is also offered in two versions, the SiriusXM Edge with Home Kit and the SiriusXM Edge with Car Kit

    Some of the unique features of the Edge is that is has the Xtra Channels that SiriusXM offers. It's about 23 extra channels, many En Espanol. It also has the Replay Feature allowing you to Pause, Fast Forward and Rewind up to 30 minutes. It has 10 Presets.

    XM also has two other simple yet unique radios.

    The XM SkyDock for iPod and iPhones turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a Satellite Radio. It's essentially a dock (which could be used just for docking, charging and playing iPhone content to your car) that has a small XM chip built in. It turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into the display and Satellite Radio. It's very cool and the operation of changing channels is lightning quick. The SkyDock plugs into your car's cigarette lighter (make sure it's in a good spot) and does all of the installation work for you. As far as features it packs in a lot, like the ability to tag songs to purchase later on iTunes, a 30 minute Replay feature, and you can see what's playing on other channels.

    And even more streamlined and simple radio that plugs into the Cigarette Lighter socket is the XM Snap. It may not have the best display or list of features but it's very easy to setup and use.

    For those looking for Portables there are two choices and both are based on the XM or SiriusXM side of the service.

    The XMP3i Portable Satellite Radio which comes with a Home Kit has everything you need to listen to a portable Satellite Radio and record and listen back to shows and content. It's versatile and the only current Satellite Radio capable of listening on the go just like a portable FM Radio. Just realize signal varies quite a bit. Some places you might be able to get a signal inside while others it may not be the case. It allows you to record up to 100 hours of XM Content and you can record up to 5 channels at once, as well as a 30 minute Replay Feature and full color screen. [​IMG]

    The other "Portable" option is the SiriusXM Lynx which is Portable in the sense that you can walk around and playback content on it portably or listen to the SiriusXM Internet Service in portable mode so long as you can get a Wifi Signal. The Lynx like most radios has additional kits like the Lynx Home Kit and the Lynx Vehicle Kit to give you more functionality and use. It's the only Radio offered that can simply be activated with a SiriusXM Internet Radio Account, but most people will also activate it as a Satellite Radio. The Lynx has almost too many features to list. But it's capable of things like recording shows, listening On Demand, receiving the Xtra Channels, setting program alerts, 25 presets, a vivid color touch screen and more.

    Most of the Plug and Play Radios have accessories and kits that you can really bring out the most in your experience without having to pay for any additional subscriptions.

    These would include things like the following.

    The SiriusXM Portable Sound System SXABB2 [​IMG]

    Home Kits for Sirius and XM to listen at Home through your Home Stereo.

    Additional Vehicle Kits for Sirius and XM to move from Car to Car.

    Many other accessories for the radios such as Remote Controls and replacement parts can be found by using our Satellite Radio Parts Finder Here.

    3. SiriusXM Internet Radio for the Car, Home or Portable
    People are increasingly making use of SiriusXM's Internet Service. In fact it's the only service you can essentially use outside North America, if you were so inclined. It's also the most popular way to listen in a Portable Mode.

    All you need is a SiriusXM Internet Subscription which on it's own is $14.49 but if you are adding it to your account it's only $3.50 per month and even less if you opt for the All Access package. It ends up being only about $2 extra if you choose that.

    Once your account is setup you can listen on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Right now SiriusXM supports the iOS Platform as well as the Android Platform and some limited Blackberry support. You could also listen on devices like the Lynx Portable or the TTR1 Tabletop Radio.

    The SiriusXM Internet service now offers an On Demand service which allows you to listen back to many of your shows on your own time. Not all shows and channels offer On Demand but the popular talk shows usually do. You can either listen On Demand or choose to Download some shows directly to your Smartphone or Tablet to listen back later (usually they do expire in a specified amount of time). The SiriusXM Internet Service also allows you to go back up to 5 hours to catch what you missed that day.

    We currently offer a device that will take the SiriusXM Apps to another level called the Orb Music Player. The Orb will connect to any speaker in your home or office and you simply control the SiriusXM App with your Smartphone or Tablet to change the channels and control what you want to listen to. It can easily transform old Boomboxes and speakers into a Wireless Internet Radio. It also works for iTunes, Pandora and more.

    The Internet Service is a great way to fill in the gaps when you can't easily listen to the Satellite Radio service. They both have their pros and cons. The Internet Service has better sound quality but also lags a few minutes behind. And some content is offered only on the Internet Service or Satellite Service.

    Well I hope this lengthy guide was helpful and I expect to tweak it to improve it over time.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  2. SIRIUSaboutXM

    SIRIUSaboutXM DRC Special Contributor

    :bigthumbup: Great job Taylor!- we appreciate your time and effort on this
  3. MadisonRadio1

    MadisonRadio1 MadisonRadio

    Yesiree! It is just as interesting to know how you can get SiriusXM as it is what is on SiriusXM.
  4. svzurich

    svzurich New Member

    Since my Streamer GTR died, I have been looking at the Lynx. As a Sirius lifetime subscriber who now rarely streams it at all on the net, would it be worthwhile to switch to SiriusXM and get the Lynx?

    I still have the antennae and suction mount installed in my car for the Streamer GTR. It shouldn't be hard at all to snake the antennae cable for a new radio and set it up. Just wondering if it it worth the effort as I rarely listen now thanks to podcasts and internet tethering with my phone and tablets. As I said, I now rarely stream Sirius content at all on my PC.

    Aaron likes this.
  5. Bandwagon03

    Bandwagon03 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for doing this, admittedly, I have kind of "fallen behind" as far as what options are available, etc. I have only had 2 radios: The good ol Brix Streamer, and my Sl2. My wife had the Brix Streamer too, and a Sportster.
  6. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    svzurich, since you don't stream programs, something like the Edge should serve you well. Eventually, (several years down the road) everything will be broadcast from the XM satellites. So I don't think it would hurt to change over now, so you don't have to worry about it later. You should be able to switch your subscription over to the SXM side now that they have finally merged their billing systems.

    If you haven't checked out the on demand programming and Satellite 2.0 services yet, you may want to do that before you buy a now radio. With all of the programs you can access and the new MyControl that is beta testing right now, there are some cool options out there.

    Hope it helps.
  7. svzurich

    svzurich New Member

    Thank you, HecticArt. :) I'm still annoyed that just about every radio seems to be a downgrade from my old one. From 31 presets to 10 and from a 6 line display to 3 or picture display. :(
  8. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    Hahaha. I hear what you're saying. The radio that they are putting the upgrades into is the Lynx. 25 presets, sports ticker, on-demand, sat & wi-fi, replays, personal mp3's, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Recording (loving) songs, song search, and a couple of other little things were taken away by the RIAA. Hopefully SXM can get some of that back in the future, but who knows. The Lynx runs off of an Android OS, so they can update it on the fly. There was just an update yesterday in fact.

    Good luck on your decision. Let us know what you decide to do.
  9. svzurich

    svzurich New Member

    Honestly, if my radio could be fixed, I'd just do that. TSS Radio did their best, but the girl just won't get up.
  10. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator


    A moment of silence,

    for a fallen comrade. . . . . . . . . . .
  11. svzurich

    svzurich New Member

    And that awesome radio was my 2nd. I had an Xact egg first. I want my 3rd radio with lifetime to be a keeper.
  12. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    The XM Snap has been discontinued officially. There will probably be some around for sale for months, but if you are looking for a reasonable, and simple radio now is the time to pick one up.
  13. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    Certainly a great price if you qualify for the rebate but ... I never saw the purpose of this radio. Yes simple to install but relied on FM transmission to deliver audio and looks to be somewhat dependent on location of cig lighter in car. Can see why it is discontinued.

    What radios does SXM still sell that are not discontinued?
    • Lynx
    • Onyx
    • Edge
    looks to be it. Do they still sell the XMP3i? Do they still sell any Sirius platform radios?
  14. svzurich

    svzurich New Member

    I'd be delighted if they still sold a Sirius only radio with equal capabilities to the Streamer GTX. Sadly, all Sirius radios have fewer features. :(
  15. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    At $7.99 after rebate, it's still a hell of a deal.
  16. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    The XMP3i is still being sold. As for Sirius platform radios there is the Starmate 8 and then the Stratus 6 (but that's limited)
  17. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    True. But most here would not qualify due to the fine print. But even $57.99 is pretty damn good if you liked that radio.
  18. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    Meh, so it's new subscribers. It sure makes it easy to justify subscribing. Once you've used it for a while, you're either staying or leaving. If you're staying, upgrading to a radio with more bells and whistles shouldn't be much of big deal since your first radio was only $8.
  19. MadisonRadio1

    MadisonRadio1 MadisonRadio

    When I got my new used car in August, I considered getting the XM Snap to go with the built in cassette player but quickly chose to get an all new Sony aftermarket player. I probably would have been ok with the Snap but I'm absolutely thrilled with the Sony player.
  20. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    Cool. stuff. We've got the OEM forum going. It would be a perfect place to post a review of your Sony player if you're up to it. We want to hear about all of the cool toys people are getting. :bigthumbup:

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