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Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

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Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Old 03-20-15, 06:31 AM
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Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

I just purchased a new truck and I got a 6 month subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. I really looked forward to this because of the endless channels they have of specific music stations.

After a week of listening I have to say it sounds terrible!!! I switched back to my FM stations to compare and its like night and day! For anyone old enough to remember it feels like Satelitte Radio are cassette tapes, and FM stations feels like CD's.

I am really re-thinking whether I will continue with Sirius Satellite once my free subscription is up because the music stations sound so bad.

Anyone else have notice this?
Old 03-20-15, 06:45 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

It has always sounded compressed and flat to me with very little bass response.

I still subscribe strictly because of the large variety of stations and music and my normal radio stations around here (with the exception of one) are awful.
Old 03-20-15, 07:52 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Originally Posted by mcnabb View Post
I just purchased a new truck and I got a 6 month subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. I really looked forward to this because of the endless channels they have of specific music stations.

After a week of listening I have to say it sounds terrible!!! I switched back to my FM stations to compare and its like night and day! For anyone old enough to remember it feels like Satelitte Radio are cassette tapes, and FM stations feels like CD's.

I am really re-thinking whether I will continue with Sirius Satellite once my free subscription is up because the music stations sound so bad.

Anyone else have notice this?
Tons of stations. Small bandwidth. Massive compression. Terrible sound.
Old 03-20-15, 08:39 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

I remember we were driving back from the mountains and had Sirius XM blasting. Bloc Party's Banquet came on, it's a song I actually enjoy a lot, and I had to turn it off because the distortion on the guys voice made it insufferable.
Old 03-20-15, 01:29 PM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

I hadn't noticed this since I'm usually listening to Howard Stern in the car.

You're probably right though because even when I do listen to music, I don't really care about sound quality in the car because of traffic noise.
Old 03-20-15, 03:47 PM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Purchased Sirius in 04 by 06 had a lifetime sub and have loved it, for me it's all about the content.
Old 03-21-15, 02:20 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

I've heard it in one friend's car and it sounded compressed to hell, but heard it in another and it sounded OK. Neither of them listen to satellite radio at home though; I can't see paying for something you're just going to listen to in the car. If I had it I'd have it hooked up on my home system and in the car.
Old 03-21-15, 05:21 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Originally Posted by Damfino View Post
I hadn't noticed this since I'm usually listening to Howard Stern in the car.
I used to listen to Stern religiously for 20 years before he went to Sirius in 2006, and was hyped to listen to him again. I have to say that his show is nowhere as great as it was in his glory days. What made his show great when he was married to Allison and had 3 kids is that he was this star who could probably get any hot model. But he wouldn't cheat on his wife, so he lived all his fantasies through the show everyday with average guys like us. Plus I miss Jackie and even Billy West doing voices, as they really added alot to the show. Stern is still better then anything out there on Radio, but I guess I remember when he was firing on all cylinders in the 90's and now he seems content and the show isn't as great.
Old 03-21-15, 08:09 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
It has always sounded compressed and flat to me with very little bass response.
It's nothing but mid-range, and the bitrate is obscenely low. Definitely sub-FM in quality. There's nothing they can do to improve the sound quality without losing channels, alas.

I first got satellite radio riiiiight after the merger...back when Sirius and XM had (mostly) the same content but on different channel numbers on each service. The drag there is that I never got to hear a dedicated punk channel on satellite radio. There's Faction which has a couple of really good punk-dedicated shows, but with Jason Ellis on ten hours a day (!!!!) and the emphasis on other talk shows, hip-hop, a bizarre fascination with Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill, etc., there's very, very, very little punk in rotation.

I'm on the fence about cancelling or not. I love being able to listen to Little Steven's Underground Garage and CBC Radio 3 wherever I am. I have a better chance of being exposed to new music I'd be into via satellite radio than anything over-the-air. I can tolerate the shitty sound quality (it hits me the most when I hear a song I own on CD), but the low quality coupled with the extremely shallow playlists is what's really killing me right now.
Old 03-22-15, 02:29 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Originally Posted by mcnabb View Post
I just purchased a new truck and I got a 6 month subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. I really looked forward to this because of the endless channels they have of specific music stations.

After a week of listening I have to say it sounds terrible!!! I switched back to my FM stations to compare and its like night and day! For anyone old enough to remember it feels like Satelitte Radio are cassette tapes, and FM stations feels like CD's.

I am really re-thinking whether I will continue with Sirius Satellite once my free subscription is up because the music stations sound so bad.

Anyone else have notice this?

I don't have satellite radio, but I've ridden with some friends that do, and it always sounds like shit. I guess talk radio or sports would be fine on there, but actual music just isn't worth it.

It's a shame, too, because they have so many good music stations.
Old 03-22-15, 08:53 AM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

I've never noticed poor sound quality but I usually listen to it in rental cars and the like so my expectations are low to begin with. I can't imagine it sounds worse than FM though, unless we're talking about HD.
Old 03-22-15, 12:47 PM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

I actually find FM to sound worse and will need to turn it up if I peruse my non satellite presets. That said, I only have a factory radio in my car.
Old 03-22-15, 01:54 PM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Originally Posted by mcnabb View Post
I am really re-thinking whether I will continue with Sirius Satellite once my free subscription is up because the music stations sound so bad.
Be prepared to get stalked like you've never been stalked before. It's easier to quit Scientology than Sirius XM.

But yeah, it sounds like crap & some of the stations I liked even had commercials. Unless you just MUST listen to Stern or certain talk programs, I can't see how this is worth what they charge. There are just too many alternatives. In my factory radio alone I have the option of HD, Pandora, iHeart, and Slacker. Not to mention what I can stream from my phone via Bluetooth or play off a USB stick.

I guess it's better than terrestrial radio, but that's not a very high bar to begin with.
Old 03-22-15, 02:44 PM
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Re: Is it me or does Satellite Radio sound terrible?

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
Be prepared to get stalked like you've never been stalked before. It's easier to quit Scientology than Sirius XM.
Haha. That is so true.

The good news is they give you excellent deals when you quit and stay away from them for a couple of months.

The bad news is they sell your name and info to other companies, especially second tier extended warranty companies if you have a factory car radio with Sirius built in. And you will get enough regular mail offers from them in a few months to kill many trees.

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