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Old 12-05-2006, 04:10 PM   #1
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Question Paying more for CD quality??

Hello, I'm planning on getting Sirius within the next couple of weeks. I've been reading a lot of consumer reviews on different sites. One of the reviewers said that he was not happy with the audio quality.. Upon researching this with Sirius he was told he has to pay an extra $2.95 (don't recall the exact amount, but roughly 3 bucks) a month for "cd quality" which he now does.

I found this forum and did some searches on this subject and have found no mention of this. The only results I find is generally of people not terribly happy in terms of sound quality.. Many many threads

Thanks
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:15 PM   #2
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There may be stuff about not being satisfied about the SQ on Satellite Radio, but not the Sirius Internet Radio. SIR sounds 7x better than Satellite.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:18 PM   #3
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Since there is no "CD QUALITY" standard it's kinda hard to say what is and what isn't.

Yeah, it's not HIGH DEF but you have to remember that a good portion of the music that's played aren't "CD QUALITY" from the source tape. 70s is still going to sound 70s and so forth.

I listen 12hrs a day and find it to be up to par with quality that's offered on comparable download sites. MP3 quality.

Remember, even CDs 15 years ago wern't CD quality as you had to mickey mouse them into the car JUST LIKE the early sat radio. FM relays, TAPE adapters will take away from the SQ.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:27 PM   #4
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Well there is definitely a standard for "cd quality".. But that's not really the important thing here.

I guess to simplify my question: Is there a higher level of audio quality offered by Sirius?

That is what was implied by the review I read.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:32 PM   #5
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okay, nevermind. I just went back and found that review again. It was for Sirius streaming internet.

review below:

"The services themselves are basically identical, and I would really recommend you go for XM for these reasons.
1. Sirius customer support is a pain to deal with. My 'factory direct' radio was DOA and it too 2 MONTHS to get it replaced through their antiquated RMA system. Even when things were finally worked out, they still dont post any tracking numbers on the order status page, so you have to call them to get it.
2. The radios are bulky and not well designed. This starmate replay in particular doesnt use any sort of docking system, so every time you want to move it to the house/car you have to disconnect the antenna, power, and audio output cable independently.
3. Sirius trys to stick you for additional services, like CD-quality streaming internet radio. It just makes sense to me if someone bought a $100 radio and paid for a subscription, they should be entitled to the best services that sirius has to offer. Instead, you have to pay an extra $2.99 a month for CD quality streaming radio. Otherwise it sounds like your listening while your in a swimming pool."
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:33 PM   #6
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That's pretty sharp on your part, undermind. It's always a good idea to get references before sinking money into something. Especially when you don't have the option to stop paying without stopping the service involved and losing your hardware investment.

The skinny is that Sirius and XM have a limited bandwidth to stream their audio. They convert all the channels to digital, then compress the streams, some more than others. The combined signal is transmitted and your receiver decompresses it and decodes the channel you select.

The large number of channels means that the streams are compressed so much that some of the highs, lows, and separation are lost when they are decompressed. Music is compressed less than talk to preserve more of the sound quality (SQ) of the music. The compression/decompression (codec) software is continually being tweaked; with no increase in the allocated bandwidth, there is only so much than can be done, short of a quantum leap in codec technology.

Most people think the SQ is perfectly acceptable for music, and can live with the poor talk SQ, but there are a lot of audiophiles whose sense of propriety is mortally offended by anything less than CD quality sound.

My advice: go to a store with a Sirius display and listen. Decide for yourself. But do yourself a favor; scan the channels. See if there are genres of music that you simply can't listen to on terrestrial radio, even with commercials. Get a brochure with the channels on it. Go to sirius.com and learn more about what they have to offer. If there's nothing you can't live without, save your money.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:37 PM   #7
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That 'review' sounds very biased.

XM and Sirius have their differences. It seems like the 'reviewer' is highlighting every negative difference and ignoring everything positive to push XM.

If that guy reviewed the bible, he'd make Jesus sound like a Republican.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:43 PM   #8
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"Most people think the SQ is perfectly acceptable for music, and can live with the poor talk SQ, but there are a lot of audiophiles whose sense of propriety is mortally offended by anything less than CD quality sound."

The problem I have is these "Audiophile's" are FINE with CD QUALITY like it's some FANTASTIC SQ.

A TRUE audiophile (such as myself) will live his life on a sliding scale and have an open ear. Take things for what they are worth. Appreciate what's available instead of MY SYSTEM SOUNDS BETTER THAN YOURS when they have a $500 surround sound setup they are claiming to be an AUDIOPHILE DREAM SETUP.

We can thank MP3s for making CDs the default HIDEF.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
That's pretty sharp on your part, undermind. It's always a good idea to get references before sinking money into something. Especially when you don't have the option to stop paying without stopping the service involved and losing your hardware investment.

The skinny is that Sirius and XM have a limited bandwidth to stream their audio. They convert all the channels to digital, then compress the streams, some more than others. The combined signal is transmitted and your receiver decompresses it and decodes the channel you select.

The large number of channels means that the streams are compressed so much that some of the highs, lows, and separation are lost when they are decompressed. Music is compressed less than talk to preserve more of the sound quality (SQ) of the music. The compression/decompression (codec) software is continually being tweaked; with no increase in the allocated bandwidth, there is only so much than can be done, short of a quantum leap in codec technology.

Most people think the SQ is perfectly acceptable for music, and can live with the poor talk SQ, but there are a lot of audiophiles whose sense of propriety is mortally offended by anything less than CD quality sound.

My advice: go to a store with a Sirius display and listen. Decide for yourself. But do yourself a favor; scan the channels. See if there are genres of music that you simply can't listen to on terrestrial radio, even with commercials. Get a brochure with the channels on it. Go to sirius.com and learn more about what they have to offer. If there's nothing you can't live without, save your money.
Thanks Capn.
I definitely am a research nut! A little obsessive I think..

Yeah I'm definitely not getting Sirius for it's sound quality. It's for the content. I've got SACD and DVD-A at home for my critical "focused" music listening. It was just the whole "2 levels of service" thing that was throwing me. It was irritating to think that you had to pay more for better sound.. But now I see it's for streaming internet radio, which I don't care about.

I am familiar with bandwidth and compression.. I work for a major cable company who is cramming cable, HDTV, OnDemand, high speed internet, and digital phone in said bandwidth, and it's a topic I have to face everyday. The good news is that there ARE always new ways of getting it to fit "properly"..
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:48 PM   #10
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A cable person getting satellite radio? I think I need to move to DiSH...

Anyway, take the free 3-day pass to both SIRIUS and XM online and decide for yourself which is better. I got SIRIUS because I knew somebody who worked there and the content.

Last edited by realwx; 12-05-2006 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
That 'review' sounds very biased.

XM and Sirius have their differences. It seems like the 'reviewer' is highlighting every negative difference and ignoring everything positive to push XM.

If that guy reviewed the bible, he'd make Jesus sound like a Republican.
Yeah, obviously you have to throw out half the reviews you read anyways. Like the ones that start like "This thing is a piece of crap! The Starmate is worthless! I bought two and the audio outputs didn't work on either of them. Sirius is garbage! Go XM all the way!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyTrombone
The problem I have is these "Audiophile's" are FINE with CD QUALITY like it's some FANTASTIC SQ.

A TRUE audiophile (such as myself) will live his life on a sliding scale and have an open ear. Take things for what they are worth. Appreciate what's available instead of MY SYSTEM SOUNDS BETTER THAN YOURS when they have a $500 surround sound setup they are claiming to be an AUDIOPHILE DREAM SETUP.

We can thank MP3s for making CDs the default HIDEF.
True audiophiles would never claim CD's are fantastic. I think vinyl would win in comparison..

You're right about MP3's. In a movement to make audio "better" we've just accepted a standard format to make audio "worse". Just for convenience.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realwx
A cable person getting satellite radio? I think I need to move to DiSH...
Hah! Show me cable radio for your car!
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:00 PM   #13
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I didn't mean to talk down to you, undermind. Most people who want to know what the fuss is about aren't saavy, so I routinely start from scratch.

Yeah, we just had the codec tweaked. SQ went from normal to horrible (underwater is a good description) to a little better than normal, where it is now.

I'm a little amazed at people who have high end equipment at home, then expect a $150 receiver to sound like their $1500 home setup. If that happened to me, I'd be royally steamed at having paid so much for my home equipment!
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
I didn't mean to talk down to you, undermind. Most people who want to know what the fuss is about aren't saavy, so I routinely start from scratch.

Yeah, we just had the codec tweaked. SQ went from normal to horrible (underwater is a good description) to a little better than normal, where it is now.

I'm a little amazed at people who have high end equipment at home, then expect a $150 receiver to sound like their $1500 home setup. If that happened to me, I'd be royally steamed at having paid so much for my home equipment!
No prob at all.

Yeah I also read that thread here on the forum about the bad "underwater" SQ. I skipped to the end of that one and was pleased to see it resolved and an agreement of "better than before".
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:13 PM   #15
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Yeah, hit up BLUE COLLAR COMEDY as it seems to have all been moved to that station which is FINE with me as most of the standup was recorded via hand held it seems.
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