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Thread: Sound Quality

  1. #1
    gellenb is offline
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    Sound Quality

    Ever since the channel upgrades, the sound quality has dropped. It just sounds like the data is being compressed down a bit too far in favor of reducing bandwidth over quality. The talk stations sound ok (Fox News, Radio Classics), but most often I'm listening to 66 Watercolors, and it's starting to drive me nuts. I though after the channel change maybe they needed to reset the compression on each station and it would get fixed over time. So far, it has not improved, and it started immediately after the channel change. I've been with Sirius prior to the public release and this happened once before on a much older radio that I had, and that's where I was told it was a compression issue, and it was corrected after a period of time.

    This is happening on both my home system using a Sportster and also with my factory radio in my Nissan Pathfinder. Is anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions? .

  2. #2
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    I have always thought the sound quality of the music stations was over compressed even before the channel upgrades (I havent noticed a difference since the upgrades). It just is and it always has been over compressed.
    Charles LaRocca
    SiriusBuzz Founder

  3. #3
    gellenb is offline
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    I'll agree that it was over compressed before, but now it's worse, even listening to the DJ on Watercolors now as he was talking is somewhat . . . garbled, not clear, and it was not this bad before. Actually as I listen to it right now, it sounds good for a bit, then for a few seconds the quality drops and then clears up again. But that my actually be due to the music itself and the spectrum may be a bit wider at that point in time. If definitely didn't exist like that before. Do you know if when they made the channel change if it actually updated any of the codec's?

  4. #4
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    I dont know about any technology updates (I wish) but, from what I understand, they were running at full channel capacity so, if there are more channels on the dial now than there were before the update, they must be compressing them even more.

    I have also heard through the grapevine that they change the compression rates based on popularity. The more popular the channel, the better the sound quality.

    Their whole sound quality issue is sad and archaic.
    Charles LaRocca
    SiriusBuzz Founder

  5. #5
    lulupopalot is offline
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    And it's skipping/cutting out. There's a thread for it under the Online Radio section, but it's happening in the car too. It's only on some stations (mostly the ones that changed stations, from what I can tell), and it's so bad we can't listen to it.

  6. #6
    tdst51 is offline
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    Sound Quality

    That's funny- I was just telling my wife today that I was listening to XM in the car, 'cause it's free right now, that the sound quality was noticeably better than what we get in the house, boat, or trailer on Sirius. What is up with that?!?

  7. #7
    shebam is offline
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    I traded in a car with an XM Commander add-on that sounded fine; the new car (Audi S4) has a Sirius head unit. I was shocked by the awful sound of Sirius channel 67 (Real Jazz) -- sounds like a cassette deck with a bad motor! As noted, other channels (such as channel 4) are not nearly so bad. Will be looking for an XM head unit to swap in. This is pathetic.

  8. #8
    shene is offline
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    I bought an Alpine CDE-124SXM car radio that came with a SXV100 Sirius tuner. I was under the impression that sound quality of the xm was near CD quality. Sure does not seem to be. Closer to AM radio to me. I also saw some reviews on Sirius tuner units that seemed to favor some over others on sound quality. Is this real or are some people just too hard to pelase? Is the quality dependant upon station or signal strength or what?

  9. #9
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    The quality is dependent on channel and not on signal strength. Some of the more popular channels have a higher quality sound but, nothing near CD quality.
    Charles LaRocca
    SiriusBuzz Founder

  10. #10
    gellenb is offline
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    Unhappy Sound Quality

    I started this thread back in May '11, and quality just has not improved over the last several months at all. At the beginning of December, my old Sportster died with the constant Acquiring Signal failure. So I purchased a new StarMate 8 unit. Like the Sportster, it spends 99% of the year in the house. The StarMate 8 does not sound any better. Matter of fact, I found sky.fm radio on the internet today that uses a 40K stream for it's free listening service. I am amazed at how much better that the free SmoothJazz 40K stream is compared to the stream currently in use by Sirius. It's good enough, that I may consider dropping my second subscription for in the house. I wish the folks at Sirius would realize that "Close to Good is NOT Good Enough".

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