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Old 06-29-2009, 10:54 PM   #1
GoldFire
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Question Is something wrong with my XM?

I was under the impression that XM's sound quality would be at least somewhat better than regular radio, but it is quite noticeably worse than radio. Could something be wrong with the receive in my car, or is that just how it is?
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:58 PM   #2
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I think this is a general problem with sat radio. Corvettes suffer from the same problem.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:59 PM   #3
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Yea ive noticed that too. it is so much quieter.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:01 PM   #4
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Yea ive noticed that too. it is so much quieter.
Is yours just quieter or is the quality worse as well?
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:50 AM   #5
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XM-Sirius compress the hell of their stuff. This means the sound quality is piss-poor. Has nothing to do with the particular car or sound system.

I am more annoyed with the fact that as a long time Sirius subscriber I can't add my Camaro radio to my account but must setup a new XM account at full price, despite the fact that they are the SAME company....
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jtnwevo View Post
XM-Sirius compress the hell of their stuff. This means the sound quality is piss-poor. Has nothing to do with the particular car or sound system.

I am more annoyed with the fact that as a long time Sirius subscriber I can't add my Camaro radio to my account but must setup a new XM account at full price, despite the fact that they are the SAME company....
Yeah, that isn't right. They really have us by the shorthairs.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:29 AM   #7
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Haven't listened to it much in my camaro but it was better quality in my H2 I had. But it also had a much better sound system in Bose. I'm very dissapointed they didn't go with the Bose system in the camaro. Don't know if that's reason or not butjust thought I'd throw that out there.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:12 AM   #8
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XM quality used to be better. Different stations vary with quality. Some use really high compression sources. (I'd still like to have their music library though

With the increase in channels, I think most of them had to go to lower bitrates. How much they compress at the satellite to receiver is a good question too, I haven't researched it

I first got it back in 04 and it was much better than FM. Now they are about the same for me. But no commercials and stupid DJ to DJ banter is worth the cost. If I remember correctly it started losing quality around 06 ish
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:29 AM   #9
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Don't forget that the tone settings you set up for regular radio don't carry over when you listen to XM - you have to set those settings up separately.

That being said, XM's sound quality still sucks due to all the compression. Especially since we have tweeters in the car, the imperfections in the high frequencies is definitely annoying.

I got into this discussion with the guys from the stereo shop that installed my tint and they said that the sound quality of Sirius signals is much better.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:58 PM   #10
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wh0rsep0wer, you said:

Don't forget that the tone settings you set up for regular radio don't carry over when you listen to XM - you have to set those settings up separately.

I just got my car this past Saturday but came to the forum because my XM seems to have too much bass. (i'm one of those old ladies when it comes to that :-)) Can you give a quick place to go to adjust the XM? I've adjusted my FM stations but as you say, it didn't carry over. Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:01 PM   #11
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I noticed I had to reset my treble and bass settings on XM, they reverted to flat and helped make sound even worse. For some reason the bass and treble settings from FM did not carry over to the XM band?

Overall, sound is still not very high quality.

best
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:08 PM   #12
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I thought it was just me but Sirius DEFINITELY sounds noticeably better.... Oh well nothin you can do if you want satelite radio. Maybe they will eliminate some channels to free up some bandwidth and uncompress it a bit.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:16 PM   #13
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It's most likely due to source compression. More compression=more channels over the same satellite bandwidth. More channels in the same bandwidth=larger selection without having to pay to launch another bird. I like the channels that cater to my musical tastes, but I wish it was CD quality sound. It isn't. It's roughly equivalent to 128K MP3. If they bumped it to 192K you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:18 PM   #14
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It's most likely due to source compression. More compression=more channels over the same satellite bandwidth. More channels in the same bandwidth=larger selection without having to pay to launch another bird. I like the channels that cater to my musical tastes, but I wish it was CD quality sound. It isn't. It's roughly equivalent to 128K MP3. If they bumped it to 192K you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
I noticed high power FM stations sound as good as if not better... Also the low quality makes my rear speakers rattle. :( I wish it was sirius instead....
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaShell View Post
wh0rsep0wer, you said:

Don't forget that the tone settings you set up for regular radio don't carry over when you listen to XM - you have to set those settings up separately.

I just got my car this past Saturday but came to the forum because my XM seems to have too much bass. (i'm one of those old ladies when it comes to that :-)) Can you give a quick place to go to adjust the XM? I've adjusted my FM stations but as you say, it didn't carry over. Thanks.
No problem...all you have to do is tune in to a XM station and then hit the TONE button on the radio. You can then set the tone settings the same way you did with the FM Stations. I'm telling you this from my memory so if that doesn't work out for you let me know.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:41 PM   #16
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Yep, def. want an XM to Sirius brain transplant for mine when it gets here.

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Old 07-29-2009, 12:19 AM   #17
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Wow - not impressed with XM sound quality! The AM band almost sounds as good. Do they even broadcast in stereo? That said, I do like the selections. Just wish the quality were there.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:55 AM   #18
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If you have an iphone you can log in to your account and listen to XM OR Sirius through the APP.I haven't tested it in a camaro yet,but it works ok on my Alpine IVA-W205.I just choose the iphone as my source,after it starts playing,i open the app.Then the music fades out and the music from the APP starts playing.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:20 AM   #19
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The volume of the source selected (AM/FM/XM/CD) will always vary, and that may be what you preceive as a sound difference.

XM is definately compressing more than they used to, because they have had to make room for more data for XMNavTraffic and some other channels fit in the same bandwidth. There are ways to artificially expand the pipeline to the car, which Sirius did when it launched backseat TV with Chrysler. XM is very likely going to come out with something similar soon, but only the new receivers will benefit. Our Camaros will not have the internal hardware/software to benefit.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:42 AM   #20
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The volume of the source selected (AM/FM/XM/CD) will always vary, and that may be what you preceive as a sound difference.

XM is definately compressing more than they used to, because they have had to make room for more data for XMNavTraffic and some other channels fit in the same bandwidth. There are ways to artificially expand the pipeline to the car, which Sirius did when it launched backseat TV with Chrysler. XM is very likely going to come out with something similar soon, but only the new receivers will benefit. Our Camaros will not have the internal hardware/software to benefit.
I had an older Sirius receiver and when they updated their systems I noticed differences in sound quality and reception, then the receiver broke and I had to get a new one anyway. I pray the same happens with XM....

I'm in a rental car for the next 2 days as the dealer is replacing my pass side rocker (defective) and i threw my Sirius receiver in with the antenna on top of the dash, not one dropout and better sound quality through the friggin FM transmitter... ARGH.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:03 AM   #21
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I thought you meant because it plays the same bands constantly.....like the real radio but worse. Im dropping this service, no way Im paying for bad sound quality and repetitive bands when I can get it for free on FM. I should never have to cycle through six rock stations to find one song from a band I know. Liquid metal=crap...90% metal bands Ive never heard of. Bone Yard seems to be stuck on Iron Maiden and Rush??? Hair Bands plays 10% Cinderella 5% popular bands and 85% unheard of hair bands. Classic Vinyl plays mostly the worst music from the 70's with a few good songs here and there. Lithium plays grunge music so unpopular you would have to be friends with the band to know who they are. ect ect.

Pandora's custom playlist seems to have a bigger and better selection and its free.

If I could pay per station I would do that to keep a couple channels, but its 90% useless.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:45 PM   #22
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i threw my Sirius receiver in with the antenna on top of the dash, not one dropout and better sound quality through the friggin FM transmitter... ARGH.
Better sound quality/fidelity through FM tx than an in-vehicle system? That means something is horribly wrong. Should never happen.

Sirius satellites are not Geo-stationary, they're Low Earth Orbit. They send signals that typically come to your car from a higher elevation. In places with hills like SF this can be a benefit. But since those satellites are moving you won't always have a consistent reception because the geometry is always changing. They also have an issue with their repeater network being an afterthought. Sometimes they just don't do the trick based on the power and geometries involved.

Overall, the reception quality was better on XM models until around 2006 when Sirius started putting better tuners in to compensate for the issues they were having in the field. I consider them the same now. Which unit do you have?
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:47 PM   #23
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I was give an older sirius tuner with a paid sub.That thing sucked FM converter was horrible. I only used it for the nascar station .
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:49 PM   #24
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