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Old 04-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
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Sirius Sound Sucks

I'm a big fan of the Sirius radio in my Jeep, especially since the alternative rock station here in Indy sucks now! However, I now listen to Sirius much more than my radio and have noticed the sound quality is horrendous. YouTube sounds even better than this. Any tricks people? It's just a OEM radio. Maybe a Sirius receiver? Love my Octane and Lithium but it sounds SO bad!?!?!

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Old 04-17-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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I noticed this also. Sirius XM has a very "tinny" sound. When I stream Pandora via Bluetooth to the stereo it sounds great. Not sure what the issue is, but definitely "not" the speakers.

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Old 04-17-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
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Yep, same here. Even the mp3 files on my 430N's hard drive tend to sound better than Sirius. I've noticed, however, that Sirius' sound quality also varies from station to station (even when I'm in the same location, and visibility/weather is the same); I constantly rotate between 1st Wave, Lithium, Alt Nation and the heavier stuff. In any case, I don't think I'll be renewing when my free year is up...
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
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There are a bunch of threads/complaints on this.

Basically....yes...it does suck.

You can adjust your EQ and get new speakers, but the compression still makes it sound awful.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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I think mine is the same way although I never really noticed before.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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The Sirius source sounds like crap. Stereo upgrades will improve it, but it will not sound as good as FM, ever. One of the reasons why I don't listen to Sirius. Not impressed with the sound or the content.

It must be compressed somehow... sounds like it's coming from inside a tin can. No warmth... "tinny" sound.

My opinion is very low of all the JK audio systems. I suggest the OP to go to the Comm&Elec section and read more.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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I really don't use it for more than just listening to comedy or news from time to time. I imagine if I were looking for a good audio experience from all the options I would be disappointed
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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I really don't use it for more than just listening to comedy or news from time to time. I imagine if I were looking for a good audio experience from all the options I would be disappointed
It blows...
Some stations/songs are worse than others.....but overall...it isn't very good for music compared to FM/Pandora/MP3, ect....
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by st1264 View Post
The Sirius source sounds like crap. Stereo upgrades will improve it, but it will not sound as good as FM, ever. One of the reasons why I don't listen to Sirius. Not impressed with the sound or the content.

It must be compressed somehow... sounds like it's coming from inside a tin can. No warmth... "tinny" sound.

My opinion is very low of all the JK audio systems. I suggest the OP to go to the Comm&Elec section and read more.
Pretty much this. I actually thought my 430 output Sirius radio pretty well, considering that the source is already crap. I have or have had other Sirius/XM radios and they all sound like garbage. At least when compared with streaming radio or FM. It also seems to depend on the station, some stations sound better then others.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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I think I'll notice it more now that I've been reading this thread.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #11
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Not trying to be rude, but some people don't know better. I've always had good equipment in my home and vehicle. I know what sounds good and doesn't. I have cd's that I've listened to for 20yrs... put it in my 130 and took it out as I couldn't stomach the way it sounded. Layers upon layers of music disappeared, muddy as hell.

JK sound systems = Poor equipment (speakers/amp/sub when equipped), Poor HU, Poor source (Sirius).

But that's just me. Maybe I'm a "sound snob". My buddy was in my JK on Monday, he said it sounded like crap, I agreed. I'm not going to upgrade now... if I do it I have to rip everything out, Sirius and all!
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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I did the poly-fil trick on my sound bar and it helped a bit. New speakers are next...
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:06 PM   #13
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They stream at about the equivalent to 96kbps. Absolute garbage. It's why I cancelled years ago.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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Not trying to be rude, but some people don't know better. I've always had good equipment in my home and vehicle. I know what sounds good and doesn't. I have cd's that I've listened to for 20yrs... put it in my 130 and took it out as I couldn't stomach the way it sounded. Layers upon layers of music disappeared, muddy as hell.

JK sound systems = Poor equipment (speakers/amp/sub when equipped), Poor HU, Poor source (Sirius).

But that's just me. Maybe I'm a "sound snob". My buddy was in my JK on Monday, he said it sounded like crap, I agreed. I'm not going to upgrade now... if I do it I have to rip everything out, Sirius and all!
I agree with that. I blame MP3's and the average person being content with a 128kb bitrate song.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:12 PM   #15
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I gave Sirus a demo with my F150 - on that right I had a good sound system; AM/FM both sounded fine, CDs and Bluetooth music sounded good - all without making adjustments. However, the Sirius broadcast music sounded pathetic. Even if I tweaked the setting it still sounded hollow. When my term was up I let it go. While I liked the variety the compression used was taking out to much of the music to be worthwhile.

I've plugged in a large USB plug into my Jeep uConnect system and it sounds decent, needs new speakers and I think I'm just going to go with the Boston Acoustics for the bar and dash. But not going to pay Sirius.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:39 PM   #16
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Many Posts about Audio

There are many posts on this forum about the bad sound system in Jeeps. There are also many knowledgable people here that know how to fix it. First, sirius radio is pretty bad, even on better systems than the jeep. Jeep has installed a HU (head unti) whether it is a 130 or 430 system. Each system has an amp but they put out on 2-ohms to the speakers. The speakers in your jeep just plain suck. Even if you replace the speakers like some have done using kickers or whatever, they are still 2-ohm speakers. If you like your head unit but want to make your jeep sound great, you have to invest in better 4-ohm speakers. To do this, you'll need a better 5-channel amp, better 4-ohm speakers (both in the dash and the lightbar) and better tweeters on the dash. You'll also need to replace the sub-woofer if you have one in the back. To make use of the better 4-ohm speakers you will need to get a LOC (line output converter). The LOC plugs into your HU and goes to the amp. The speakers then go to the amp. You can now use much better speakers and your entire system will sound much much better.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #17
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+1 on the crappy Sirius reception. Won't be renewing that crap.
Also have absolutely no AM reception on any station whatsoever. I'll be bringing it back to the service department one of these days for that.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #18
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SAT sound is awful. I will probably keep it when my free sub is up if I can get it for like 6 bucks a month for every channel which I've heard is possible if you play hardball with them. Once Howard Stern quits doing his show Sirius will tank though. They wont be able to give it away after that.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:27 PM   #19
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I've had Sirius for years and have had no problems with the sound, then I got my new Jeep and the stock U Connect with Sirius, and it sounds tinny, and this time it's free for a year. UGH!
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #20
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They stream at about the equivalent to 96kbps. Absolute garbage. It's why I cancelled years ago.
I suspect that the bit rate is set differently on different channels...and that the receiver can handle a range of bit rates. Howard 100 and the hit channels? Probably halfway decent bit rate. Less popular channels? You can hear the compression artifacts...and you can't polyfil that away.

I can put a local NPR talk show on FM and switch to the simulcast on NPR 122 and the difference is shocking. Sirius sounds like two tin cans connected by string.

The level of compression on Sirius is absolutely unacceptable...and the sound on most channels is absolutely pathetic....and I hope that this thread comes up on Google searches when folks are considering getting Sirius.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #21
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Sirius Radio sounds like crap even playing from $50,000 speakers attached to multiple Krell amplifiers.

You can't get champagne from dog piss.

It's completely compressed, no headroom, digitally brickwall filtered garbage sound.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:09 AM   #22
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I won't be renewing unless they pay me to take it for another year.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:15 AM   #23
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SAT sound is awful. I will probably keep it when my free sub is up if I can get it for like 6 bucks a month for every channel which I've heard is possible if you play hardball with them. Once Howard Stern quits doing his show Sirius will tank though. They wont be able to give it away after that.
Had it free for 6 months when I bought my 08 Sahara new. It expired and I was okay with that. It's much better in my wife's 12 Explorer. Got tired of her paying $45 every 3 months, so I called and told them to cancel because I couldn't afford it. They offered $79 for a year(total price after taxes) and I took it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #24
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I suspect that the bit rate is set differently on different channels...and that the receiver can handle a range of bit rates. Howard 100 and the hit channels? Probably halfway decent bit rate. Less popular channels? You can hear the compression artifacts...and you can't polyfil that away.

I can put a local NPR talk show on FM and switch to the simulcast on NPR 122 and the difference is shocking. Sirius sounds like two tin cans connected by string.

The level of compression on Sirius is absolutely unacceptable...and the sound on most channels is absolutely pathetic....and I hope that this thread comes up on Google searches when folks are considering getting Sirius.
Lithium was my favorite channel and when I switched to my USB input I could not believe the difference. If they improved the quality on all channels I would renew.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:42 AM   #25
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I had an external Sirius radio device in a '99 Chevy and an internal one in an '08 VW and I don't remember them having sound issues at all. Maybe they cut quality when Sirius and XM merged? The sound is god awful now! I hardly listen to it cause it sounds so bad. That said, FM radio and bluetooth sounds great. No real complaints about my stock stereo.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:04 AM   #26
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dont take this wrong but your guys are too picky lol If i remember xm/serious is digital? I have had xm for years still do and now serious with the Jeep. I have the stock radio in the sport and have no problem.. I could use a bit more bounce in the bass sound but it is still not bad. i have every thing even treble,bass and mid. Even with the top off sitting in the back with the grand kid on the freeway going 65 heard the radio np... I am a truck driver and hard of hearing lol maybe thats the problem??
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #27
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Has nothing to do with a digital signal.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:11 AM   #28
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Sirius Radio Problems

They digitally compress the signal so much (in order to offer more channels on their limited bandwidth) that it sounds horrible. Frankly I wish they would cut the number of channels in half (do we really need a nothing but U2 channel?) and increase the sound quality.

The bit rates on SAT are around 60kbs on the best channels. By comparison, a uncompressed CD has a bit rate of 320kbs, which is over 5 TIMES the data rate.

The proof is in the numbers, they don't lie. Satellite radio has POOR quality compared to uncompressed sources, even Mp3's BLOW away sat radio in quality.

Now, if only Jeep would have a better audio system. I ripped out every speaker (all 7), put in an amp and a LOC for 4-ohm speakers - what a difference. It's like what st1264 said below.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:11 AM   #29
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Too picky?

Some of us know what good sound is... any level of Wrangler stereo system doesn't have it. Also Sirius sounds even worse... compressed to oblivion. Some people are happy with horrible sound but most of us know better. I know people who buy a flat panel tv and say "Wow, the audio sounds so good on this tv" when I listen to a 7.1 system as I can't stomach the tv's horrible speakers and pitiful lack of bass/clarity/amplification.

If I get offered Sirius for a penny, I'll still say NO. My 10 watt factory deck and paper cone woofers in my 84 Olds Delta 88 sound better than this.

If I do put stereo equipment in my 13' Wrangler, everything has to go as it's all poor equipment. Sorry, but it is. Go to the Comm/Elec section and see all the guys ripping out their entire Alpine "premium" stuff. It's junk compared to what's out there.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:31 AM   #30
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Now, if only Jeep would have a better audio system. I ripped out every speaker (all 7), put in an amp and a LOC for 4-ohm speakers - what a difference. It's like what st1264 said below.[/QUOTE]

What did replacing all of those items cost? Ballpark

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