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Thread: Why I'm switching to XM

  1. #1
    deckm56 is offline
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    Joined: Apr 2010 Location: Perkasie, Pa Posts: 9

    Why I'm switching to XM

    It's not because I think that XM's programming is better in fact I feel it's slightly worse. I'm not a sports fanatic so that didn't play into it.

    About 12 (?) yrs ago I bought and installed a Sirius Starmate Replay unit and enjoyed it in three different cars. About a year ago the power connection broke and I decided to buy the latest Starmate5. I noticed right away that the FM transmission wasn't anywhere near as strong as the previous unit was. No matter, my new Sonata had an Aux plug so I connected it that way. Then I began to notice that the sound quality was sub-par to the XM signal which at one point I was receiving through my Sonata's radio thanks to the 3 month free trial. It sounded like it was under water or like if you were playing a record and walked by the turntable with a heavy foot, called flutter I think. Anyhow I eventually contacted them and they tried resetting my unit but to no avail. I put up with it for awhile longer until I was surveyed on my Sirius customer service experience. They contacted me afterwards and eventually they sent me a reconditioned Starmate5 to try. Now I'm in a new 2013 Sonata and the free XM trial that came with that car sounded 100% better than the plugged-in reconditioned Starmate 5. So today I cancelled my Sirius and towards the end of the 3 month period I'll sign up for XM.

    I'm going to miss the Starmate though. I really liked the replay function as well as the ability to program favorite artists or songs and the way it beeped every time one was playing on any one of the stations. I also liked being able to listen to NPR which apparently requires the more costly XM premium package. That'll be a subject for discussion for sure.

    So it would seem that the sound problems were related to the Starmate head unit vs. compression issues since the XM sounds very CD-like. On the plus side Sirius customer service as above average in my opinion.

  2. #2
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    Im glad your new unit sounds better but, I did want to comment...

    1. Its not surprising that a factory connection sounds better than an aftermarket external hookup. It could have been a bad connection, plug, wire, or even power noise interference which caused your muddy sound. Did other devices, such as an iPod, sound good when plugged into your aux?

    2. It should also be noted that some channels just sound better than others. Because of the limited spectrum, both sirius and xm juice up the bitrate on the more popular channels and drop it on the less popular ones. So, a less than optimal connection on a lower bitrate channel is going to sound extra crappy!

    Anyway, glad to hear your new system is much improved! Nothing beats a factory system -- nor more wires, brackets, or suction cups!
    Charles LaRocca
    SiriusBuzz Founder

  3. #3
    deckm56 is offline
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    Joined: Apr 2010 Location: Perkasie, Pa Posts: 9

    response

    Quote Originally Posted by SiriusBuzz View Post
    Im glad your new unit sounds better but, I did want to comment...

    1. Its not surprising that a factory connection sounds better than an aftermarket external hookup. It could have been a bad connection, plug, wire, or even power noise interference which caused your muddy sound. Did other devices, such as an iPod, sound good when plugged into your aux?

    2. It should also be noted that some channels just sound better than others. Because of the limited spectrum, both sirius and xm juice up the bitrate on the more popular channels and drop it on the less popular ones. So, a less than optimal connection on a lower bitrate channel is going to sound extra crappy!

    Anyway, glad to hear your new system is much improved! Nothing beats a factory system -- nor more wires, brackets, or suction cups!
    The fact that I had the exact same problem in two different cars (yes both Sonatas but after 2010 they were a whole new platform), that I tried two different head units, that the iPod and Blackberry sounded great through the system and that the problem didn't surface until I got the newer Starmate leads me to believe that it's the unit and not interference.

    Do you think there could be a bitrate difference between Sirius and XM? I don't know if I agree with you since the classical stations sounded better than others like Deep Tracks or Classic Vinyl, e.g.


    Plus the frequency response and overall depth of sound is much better with the car unit.

  4. #4
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by deckm56 View Post
    Do you think there could be a bitrate difference between Sirius and XM? I don't know if I agree with you since the classical stations sounded better than others like Deep Tracks or Classic Vinyl, e.g.
    I think its quite possible but, I don't know for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by deckm56 View Post
    Plus the frequency response and overall depth of sound is much better with the car unit.
    How is the sound in the 2013 in general? Would you say even the radio and CD player sound better than in your older car? I think you benefiting from a better connection and likely a better upgraded sound system -- its a double win.

    I put a factory system in the wifes Maxima and it was night and day compared to her old sportster 4. To anyone who is reading this, if you can afford it, go with the factory system! Don't buy one brand new either if your car doesn't come equipped, call a local junkyard or check ebay first, you likely pay less than half of retail.
    Charles LaRocca
    SiriusBuzz Founder

  5. #5
    deckm56 is offline
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    Joined: Apr 2010 Location: Perkasie, Pa Posts: 9
    Yes the sound system in general is better in the 2013 than in the 2010. If fact for anyone looking for a nice mid size sedan the Sonata's a great value and a big improvement overall from the <2011 series. The 4 cyl has lot's of pickup and if you're a light foot 34-35mpg on the highway. I'm no audiophile but it seems to me that whatever I play through the sound system sounds pretty damn good!
    Quote Originally Posted by SiriusBuzz View Post
    I think its quite possible but, I don't know for sure.



    How is the sound in the 2013 in general? Would you say even the radio and CD player sound better than in your older car? I think you benefiting from a better connection and likely a better upgraded sound system -- its a double win.

    I put a factory system in the wifes Maxima and it was night and day compared to her old sportster 4. To anyone who is reading this, if you can afford it, go with the factory system! Do buy one brand new either if your car doesn't come equipped, call a local junkyard or check ebay first, you likely pay less than half of retail.

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