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Old 09-23-2002, 09:42 PM   #1
TulaneJeff
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Default Superior Sound Quality

It was back in May that I did side by side tests of XM and Sirius in my vehicle and my results gave Sirius the edge.

I had a chance to listen to XM at a local audio shop this weekend and have to say that Sirius still surpasses them in sound quality. When I listen to Sirius now I can hardly tell the difference between CD. It's that good!

I think S>PLEX is paying off bigtime.

Jeff
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Old 09-23-2002, 11:53 PM   #2
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Default they're comparable

I have a Sony Plug-n-Play XM receiver here at my desk. I'd say the audio is comparable to Sirius. The XM audio is *flat* and does sound better with a little bit of treble boost.

When you are listening to music channels on Sirius, pay attention to drums & cymbals in the music passages. You'll hear some compression artifacts during these passages.
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Old 09-28-2002, 08:06 PM   #3
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My Jensen Sirius sounds as good on my Saturn OEM radio as top quality CD's. AM/FM sounds muted or muffled on the same radio. Fidelity is great on all settings: bass, trebele I can understand the words on songs that I cannot understand on am/fm.

And of course I love NO COMMERCALES.
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Old 09-29-2002, 10:54 AM   #4
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I have never really had a chance to do a fair side-by-side comparison. I know with XM, I crave more highs in my music. It seems that some channels are better than others but many are a little too "bassy" for my taste. Maybe with the next compression software upgrade this will get better. A couple of channels that I have complained about have gotten better. The quality is definitely much better than it was last spring on XM.

Jeff - The spell check feature is not working.
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Old 09-29-2002, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht
Jeff - The spell check feature is not working.
Spellcheck...this place has spellcheck?!?

I guess I need to fix that...

As for the XM vs. Sirius sound, it will be a constant game of leapfrog. New software and codecs will always allow for improvement. At least they're both lightyears above FM.

Jeff
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Old 10-02-2002, 07:05 PM   #6
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Default Superior Sound Quality

Jeff,

I don't think we have much scope for expecting an endless stream of
improvements to the sound quality.
I think for both XM and Sirius, they are limited by the embedded codec
implementations in their chips. Neither receiver chipset has capability of
downloading new codecs, nor is there much of a choice of codecs already there in the chip. They both had to consider backward compatibility, and
there is no point to implementing a new coder in the uplink processor (broadcast end) if all receivers out there are capable of decoding the new format.
Having said that, we know XM has at least two codecs in their chip, because they switched earlier this year. Sirius may have a couple, too.
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Old 10-10-2002, 05:42 PM   #7
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I still say Sirius sounds better, on the music channels anyway! As far as the news, comedy, and all that crap...... It BLOWS! It sounds like a real poor internet stream! XM's news/talk channels sound much better. On XM however, there is one channel that stands out from the rest, and that is the System! WOW! That really sounds good!
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Old 10-19-2002, 11:46 AM   #8
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Being one that has Sirius and XM in the same vehicle, I can agree. Sirius has better sound. However, they have more digital compression artifacts than XM does, so it's a tradeoff.
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Old 10-19-2002, 05:30 PM   #9
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Default XM versus Sirius part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattj949
Being one that has Sirius and XM in the same vehicle, I can agree. Sirius has better sound. However, they have more digital compression artifacts than XM does, so it's a tradeoff.
My impression of both services:

Sound quality- slight edge goes to Sirius, but this may be due to the Kenwood Excelon headunit (4.5 preamp outs) as opposed to a Sony Explod.

Dropoffs (western L.I. and metro NYC) - advantage to Sirius, both in frequency and duration.

Channel lineup- based on my listening habits Sirius

D. J's. - Xm has more interesting radio personalities, from my brief listeming experience. Sirius DJ's banter is irritating, similar to what I would listen to on FM. Xm provided me with little known facts about the artists/tracks that were playing.

Display- hands down Kenwood (2 lines of legible scrolling text with up to 16 characters per line), Sony was limited to one line of 8 characters and no scrolling.

Overall, I prefer Sirius but I also enjoyed XM!
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:41 AM   #10
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Default XM Sound

I have my Delphi XM hooked up to a high quality sound system. My opinion is that the XM sound is clean but its frequency response is limited both at the high and low end. I hope to do some technical tests in the near future, but my guess is that the frequency response does not extend much below 50 or 60 hz and not much above 10,000. What is there is mostly very clean but the high detail or the deep bass are not. In my opinion the sound is not as full or as good FM from the standpoint of range, and certainly not as good as CD. If as another poster suggests, the codecs are encoded in a chip, there is not much hope for improvement.

I would rate the sound as a low good. I was hoping for better than that for the music channels.
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Old 12-31-2002, 08:01 PM   #11
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Having both XM and Sirius in one vehicle, I can say they both sound great- it does depend on what channels I listen to. They are both so far superior to FM that it isnt even a contest, so while both XM and Sirius has minor flaws(reception/sound quality), the variety and overall-reception is SUPER!! Just signed my sister up today with Sirius in her BMW X5- she loves it!!
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Old 08-20-2003, 04:11 PM   #12
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I have only Sirius....

Sound quality is good. I would rate it a C+. It is light years better than FM when content/range is judged. But, a solid FM signal on a nice receiver blows Sirius out of the water. Is Sirius CD quality? Not even close. I still choose to use it in my car though. The content is what matters most there. I have the plug and play kenwood. Used to bring it in the house, but it really is too much of a pain, even though it is easy to do. I just assume leave the thing in the car. Besides, I have tons and tons of CD, SACD & Vinyl to listen to in the house. Sirius can't compare to that sound quality or selection.

IMO
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Old 08-20-2003, 04:22 PM   #13
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ctiger2

How are you listening to Sirius, what equipment do you use?
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Old 08-20-2003, 11:11 PM   #14
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Sirius is hard to compare. Some days it sounds better then others. I think they either are testing stuff round the clock, or they just like to lower the bitrate and see if anyone notices. I have a really good ear for artifacts. ABout 2 hours ago it was sounding pretty good. About 5 hours ago it was full of artifacts.

That makes sense. While most of the staff was at the office, they probably lowered the bitrate to test the video and other lame things. Once the work day is over, they crank it back up.

Maybe I should get a 902 unit. Maybe the old one is more prone to differnt sound....could it be the passive antenea?
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Old 08-21-2003, 02:02 AM   #15
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I've got both, and if you've seen my previous posts you probably know that I'm not a fan of Sirius sound quality. Since those old posts though I did dramatically improve my bass respose by getting a new custom sized MDF enclosure for both subs and at least I now get good spoiler shaking bass. But the highs are still grating to me. I can understand that this is subjective though. I think you either like the Sirius codec or you hate it. But in my car, on my audio gear and to my ears, XM still sounds somewhat better.

Incidently the latest issue of either Car Audio or Mobile Entertainment reviews both and also picks XM for better sound quality. Even if you do prefer Sirius sound, you've gotta admit it does seem like most reviews prefer XM's sound. I hope this is putting some pressure on Sirius to quit playing around with the codec and smooth it out a bit.
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