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Old 01-02-2007, 06:13 AM   #1
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Default Please Convince me to KEEP Sirius.. (Sound Quality)

I got Sirius for the content, not the sound quality. I read extensively here on the subject before buying. I even went and listened at a store as suggested. It sounded fine (on a boombox at Radio Shack). But now that I've bought it and fired it up, I find the sound quality appaling!

I don't want to be the guy who starts the thread topics like "Sirius Sucks!". I WANT to enjoy Sirius. But the sound quality I've experienced is horrible. We're talking AM vs FM (Sirius being AM).

I am in the early stages of troubleshooting it, but I don't want to get in too deep in buying accessories if I'm not even going to keep the service. I got my Sportster 4 set up in my car tonight. I realize there are issues with the FM transmitters on these, and without a direct input connection to my car stereo, I'm not hearing the true quality. BUT, since I was dissapointed, I went and grabbed some headphones from my home recording studio and plugged directly into the Sportster 4's audio out and it was the same. Very hazy sound lacking any upper or lower frequencies. And I'm familiar with what these headphones sound like on many sources such as MP3 players and cd players.

I planned to use this receiver for my car and home. The problem is that the same audio out jack I used for the headphones will be used to send the audio into my home stereo.

Like I said before, I WANT to like Sirius. I'm willing to accept a little less than FM or CD quality. I'm hoping someone replies to this and says "oh you forgot to do this:" or "oh you're not doing that right". My next step is to grab an AC adapter and try it out in my house temporarily using the car antenna. I've got my fingers crossed, but don't have high hopes.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind
I got Sirius for the content, not the sound quality. I read extensively here on the subject before buying. I even went and listened at a store as suggested. It sounded fine (on a boombox at Radio Shack). But now that I've bought it and fired it up, I find the sound quality appaling!

I don't want to be the guy who starts the thread topics like "Sirius Sucks!". I WANT to enjoy Sirius. But the sound quality I've experienced is horrible. We're talking AM vs FM (Sirius being AM).

I am in the early stages of troubleshooting it, but I don't want to get in too deep in buying accessories if I'm not even going to keep the service. I got my Sportster 4 set up in my car tonight. I realize there are issues with the FM transmitters on these, and without a direct input connection to my car stereo, I'm not hearing the true quality. BUT, since I was dissapointed, I went and grabbed some headphones from my home recording studio and plugged directly into the Sportster 4's audio out and it was the same. Very hazy sound lacking any upper or lower frequencies. And I'm familiar with what these headphones sound like on many sources such as MP3 players and cd players.

I planned to use this receiver for my car and home. The problem is that the same audio out jack I used for the headphones will be used to send the audio into my home stereo.

Like I said before, I WANT to like Sirius. I'm willing to accept a little less than FM or CD quality. I'm hoping someone replies to this and says "oh you forgot to do this:" or "oh you're not doing that right". My next step is to grab an AC adapter and try it out in my house temporarily using the car antenna. I've got my fingers crossed, but don't have high hopes.
I've seen alot of people complain about Sirius's SQ, but it works for me. I've even noticed an increase since I began using the wired FM relay instead of the FM modulator. Better than FM IMO, but not up to par for most audiophiles.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:38 AM   #3
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The quality you are hearing through your headphones is the quality sirius provides. Some channels seem to sound better than others.... like the Sirius Hits 1 and Area 33. I hate noticed that these two channels in particular have better quality than many other stations. Just before Christmas many people have noticed an increase in sound quality, as well as myself. When it comes to sound my ear is very picky so I know what you mean. I have had sirius for 2 years and here is what I have done to try and bring up the sound quality:

At home I connected Sirius to my computer and run it through winamp. This allows me to put the signal through the winamp equalizer to minimize some of the frequencies that cause more noticeable compression in sirius codec. I then have a plugin for winamp that emulates a 5.1 signal. This setup actually sounds pretty good.... still not as good as cd's though.

You can always add the higher codec for online playing when listening on your computer at home.

In my car I just bought a new Sportster 4 and have it directly hooked up to the system I have built in my car. Sirius sounds decent but I have not come up with solution to bring up the sound quality in the car. Maybe its time to empty the wallet and built the carputer I always wanted, run sirius through winamp as well.

Ultimately, you got everything set right, it will take time to get use to. Sirius offers more selection than anyones mp3 player can give them, that the only reason I am still a subscriber. Someone gets in my car and instantly I can change the music to what they like.

Direct connection to your cars Head Unit is the only way to go for someone with a sensitive ear.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind
I got Sirius for the content, not the sound quality. I read extensively here on the subject before buying. I even went and listened at a store as suggested. It sounded fine (on a boombox at Radio Shack). But now that I've bought it and fired it up, I find the sound quality appaling!

I don't want to be the guy who starts the thread topics like "Sirius Sucks!". I WANT to enjoy Sirius. But the sound quality I've experienced is horrible. We're talking AM vs FM (Sirius being AM).

I am in the early stages of troubleshooting it, but I don't want to get in too deep in buying accessories if I'm not even going to keep the service. I got my Sportster 4 set up in my car tonight. I realize there are issues with the FM transmitters on these, and without a direct input connection to my car stereo, I'm not hearing the true quality. BUT, since I was dissapointed, I went and grabbed some headphones from my home recording studio and plugged directly into the Sportster 4's audio out and it was the same. Very hazy sound lacking any upper or lower frequencies. And I'm familiar with what these headphones sound like on many sources such as MP3 players and cd players.

I planned to use this receiver for my car and home. The problem is that the same audio out jack I used for the headphones will be used to send the audio into my home stereo.

Like I said before, I WANT to like Sirius. I'm willing to accept a little less than FM or CD quality. I'm hoping someone replies to this and says "oh you forgot to do this:" or "oh you're not doing that right". My next step is to grab an AC adapter and try it out in my house temporarily using the car antenna. I've got my fingers crossed, but don't have high hopes.
If set up right, it sounds pretty good. I have no issue with it. not only that, if you sign up for $2 a month to update the online stream, that sounds pretty damn good too. Way better than any streaming radio stations.

What kind of car do you have? If you go here http://www.tss-radio.com/auxiliary-i...c7da338923cd25, you might find an auxilary input adaptor for your car stereo. Then you will enjoy the good sound.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loadfet17
I've seen alot of people complain about Sirius's SQ, but it works for me. I've even noticed an increase since I began using the wired FM relay instead of the FM modulator. Better than FM IMO, but not up to par for most audiophiles.
This doesn't surprise me, I'm in the same boat.
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:25 PM   #6
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I agree totally with the OP. I have a Starmate and am using the headphone out to the aux input of my car stereo and the sound isn't that great at all. The only reason I have Sirius is because of Stern- I mostly listen to talk on Sirius. There is no way I would be paying for Sirius if I just listed to music.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:27 PM   #7
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Sirius sounds fine to me...I'm not sure what you all are expecting...I think that may be the problem...your expectations...have we become spoiled by ipods and the like? Everyones hearing is different some more sensitive than others. I approach satrad as a young industry and when taken as a whole may not please everyone but more then makes up for it with sheer quantity and flexibility in content. If the sound quality is not up to your standards and everything else sirius offers is not enough then clearly this not the right choice for you.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:44 PM   #8
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Ipods SPOILED people? I say, people have learned to live with lousy SQ ever since the MP3 was invented (or the MINI DISK or the CD whichever turned you off first) which is why I'll NEVER pay $1 for a LOUSY RECORDING (mp3 at ANY bitrate) and would rather pay the subscription to get the radio I USED to listen to back in the 80-90s.

As soon as people take 2 seconds to wire these things correctly (FM connection is like connecting the CD through the stock DELCO tape player. The worst but FAST!) people will realize what they are missing.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siriusurfer
Sirius sounds fine to me...I'm not sure what you all are expecting...I think that may be the problem...your expectations...have we become spoiled by ipods and the like?
Spoiled by ipods? Sorry, I have to laugh.. Just the opposite. Convenience has overpowered quality. Ipods have actually lowered the acceptable standard for sound quality. In a world of possibilty for improving sound quality, we embrace an inferior file type in MP3's.

That aside, I thank people for their responses. I was really hoping someone would tell me I'm doing this all wrong. But for the most part, people are just agreeing.

I've only spent about an hour messing around with it in my car. last night at midnight. in the rain. So I'm gonna try a little more. The key is going to be trying it in the house. When I run it into the living room stereo I will know what I'm dealing with.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:50 PM   #10
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Hehe Rusty you posted that as I was typing up my response..
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:57 PM   #11
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My ipod comment does not take away from the fact that some folks a) don't hook up their radios correctly(thanks rusty) and b) folks do not balance their satrad expierence ie focusing on SQ only...to me its a question of total satifaction with the product(or not)
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:12 PM   #12
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I think comparing SQ while using an FM transmitter will give you the terrible results you are having. If someone is sensitive to SQ, then using the FM Tran isn't the way to go. Now days most vehicles you can buy a Pie Adapter for going direct connect. There is no way this day and time I am settling for FM trans or even the FM Relay. I understand folks do have to live with those, but if you do, don't expect to hear Sirius at its best.

While I agree overall that iPods and other MP3 players have dropped the level of acceptance for most. You can indeed rip music at higher bitrates that will indeed make Sat Radio sound inferior and especially if you are listening to sat radio via the FM Trans.

I am happy with the SQ of SIRIUS, could it be better... of course... but it could be a heck of a lot worse too.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:13 PM   #13
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It's definitely a change BUT ANY change from analog to digital is going to be a give take on SQ. Just not the same. I felt the same way about the way high hats sound on some of the stations (like 2 pie tins smashing together) but this is all temporary. I mean, phone lines USED to be 28Kbps MAX for an internet connection now they got 3MB over the phone lines.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind
The key is going to be trying it in the house. When I run it into the living room stereo I will know what I'm dealing with.
I think you will end up changing your tune.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind
Hehe Rusty you posted that as I was typing up my response..
Did you go through the WHERE'D THE MUSIC GO with MINIDISK like I did? It SEEMED like a good idea until there was "silence" where there should be music (like they didn't compress the SQ they just removed it). It was like really good tape quality which is so not what I was looking for...but it was rewritable so it was doable. (also didn't bother buying better speakers)
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