Trying Sirius Satellite Radio


One of the things my new Ford Edge came with was a Sirius satellite radio and a three-month trial subscription. For the most part I listen to my old iPod in the car and occasionally FM radio, but I was curious to try Sirius.

I can give a one-word review: disappointing.

The most annoying thing about Sirius (and XM, I'm sure) is that when blocked, there's absolutely no signal. With AM and FM radio, if you're in an area that gets poor reception, the audio quality decreases. With satellite radio, the audio simply disappears. Driving through West Hartford daily is an exercise in frustration, where the audio drops almost as much as it's played. When buildings or trees are around, there seems to be a pretty good chance of not receiving a signal.

One of the things I hear touted about satellite radio is that it's 100% commercial-free. Perhaps "commercial-free" means something different to me than the Sirius execs, but I think running ads for other Sirius stations and a handful of advertisers is not commercial-free. Worse, it is just a handful of advertisers: I bet I can repeat some commercials from memory because I've heard them so many times!

Looking at the Sirius Channel Guide there appear to be a lot of channels. Speaking specifically about the rock stations (a term the Channel Guide uses very loosely), some of them play practically the same music, and others are niche interests. In the end there are only about six stations that I like and none of them always play music I like, so I skip around. Just like with FM radio. Ultimately, I think the Sirius selection is only slightly better (for me) than FM because of the comedy stations. A sports nut, for example, would probably enjoy Sirius much more than I do. (I count 15 sports stations.)

The comedy stations have been fun to listen to (assuming the punch line doesn't come when I drive through a dead spot and lose reception). However, after listening for about three weeks I'm starting to hear repeats of a lot of material. Surely there's more available, or it could be better mixed throughout the day? (I tend to listen at the exact same times every day: driving to and from work.)

I'll probably continue to listen to the Sirius radio for a few more weeks, or maybe until the trial subscription expires--but I certainly won't be purchasing. At $13 per month, it's just not worth it.

And a P.S.: I briefly wondered if having the radio in the car, and one at home might make the price more acceptable. Ah, no! Each additional radio costs another $7 per month!

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Dan & Sherree & Patrick currently uses Facebook for comments. Older comments are still here for readers, though. Read old comments »

Awesome review Dan! Derek and I just bought a Hundai Tiberon yesterday and it has XM for 3 months, can't imagine we will keep it.

Derek's been driving a rental this past week with Sirius...he said the same things you did in your review...what a pile of crapola.

Howard Stern and suck my big toe.

Heart you!

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