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Thread: XM sound quality

  1. #1
    shchow's Avatar
    shchow is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    XM sound quality

    Just picked up 2014 V, had prior 2010 V.
    Keep in mind I am no audiophile.
    But the sound quality of XM when compared to my local FM stations sound horrible, almost like it's mono!
    It's so bad that I stopped listening to XM.


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  3. #2
    Crystal Red CTS-V is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: XM sound quality

    All satellite radio programming is compressed to allow them to fit more channels in the allocated bandwidth - sounds terrible compared to good old fashioned CD's!

  4. #3
    MEDISIN is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: XM sound quality

    Hollow, compressed, muffled highs, boomy lows, but I've never heard satellite radio sound great from any system. Some are better than others though, and I feel like the CTS is rather poor. The new Malibu even sounds better.

    I will say that the onboard DAC and Bose hardware are pretty good all around. Both CD's and high quality playback from the USB port are better than I expected. Sure there are better systems available but it is pretty good at mid-high volumes. That is to say low volume is fairly lackluster, but past 25% volume or so and it really opens up and doesn't distort even at uncomfortably high volume.

  5. #4
    neuronbob's Avatar
    neuronbob is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: XM sound quality

    This has been a problem from the beginning of satellite radio, and believe me, I was an early adopter. I have had this complaint in every car in the last 12 years I've used XM in. Unfortunately, the customer service at XM, which used to be awesome, is also in the crapper. If there were another choice, and there used to be, I'd switch.

    Even so, you can beat the variety and since I take long road trips regularly, I keep the service.

  6. #5
    readyact's Avatar
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    Re: XM sound quality

    Yes XM sounds horrible in the V. Heck playing the iPod in the V sounds better and that's not saying much. For the best sound I convert my music to DVD-RWs which sound pretty darn good in the V. The music is converted to simulated 5.1 surround sound which the Bose system seems to respond well to as the music is much cleaner and louder.

  7. #6
    DCV is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: XM sound quality

    Best sound is to load your cd's onto the hard drive. I have 200 loaded onto mine.

  8. #7
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    Trevorlj is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: XM sound quality

    XM called me the other day and acted surprised when I told them I'm not interested because their service sounds horrible. Not a fan. I just run a 32GB USB stick with high bitrate MP3's.

  9. #8
    JFJr's Avatar
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    And even the sound quality of music on some XM stations is better than on others (smooth jazz station better than pop). Also, I've settled on "centerpoint" as my preferred setting for sound quality on all sources.

    Jud

  10. #9
    shchow's Avatar
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    Wow!
    I guess I wasn't mistaken.
    I've stopped listening to XM and use Pandora often from my iPhone.

  11. #10
    RaVeNous is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: XM sound quality

    Thats not the car, that is XM radio. It sounds like a slightly better verision of internet radio from 1999. Hollow, thin, and sometimes an ecco. I don't particularly care for it, which is why I refuse to pay for it.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JFJr View Post
    And even the sound quality of music on some XM stations is better than on others (smooth jazz station better than pop). Also, I've settled on "centerpoint" as my preferred setting for sound quality on all sources.

    Jud
    Centerpoint, are you 68 years old? :P I like the "driver" setting. The different sound fields really sound better or worse with what source and type of music you're listening too.

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    Re: XM sound quality

    This is nothing new. It's been like this since day one. I have been complaining about this since 2002 when they started putting XM in cars from the factory.

  13. #12
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    Re: XM sound quality

    Yep, I think they really screwed up with XM going back years ago by compressing their bandwidth too much, even Direct tv Satallite sounds great, not XM, even in my Benz it sounds horrible, I very rarely listen to it, for 50 bucks a year though worth it to have for listening to Howard Stern, CNBC, CNN, etc when I travel. I mostly just stream music through Pandora and Slacker and both those are CD quality if not better. I really like the Blue Tooth that benz has, a lot more easy than plugging in a 3.5 cord each time I want to connect my cell phone. Track and title info also gets streamed to the screen, although no artwork, my VW Jetta does display artwork too with a little picture of the album in the left corner of the screen, that is kind of a nice feature. HD radio sounds really good too in both the Benz and the Jetta.

  14. #13
    JFJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaVeNous
    Thats not the car, that is XM radio. It sounds like a slightly better verision of internet radio from 1999. Hollow, thin, and sometimes an ecco. I don't particularly care for it, which is why I refuse to pay for it.

    ----------



    Centerpoint, are you 68 years old? :P I like the "driver" setting. The different sound fields really sound better or worse with what source and type of music you're listening too.
    I wasn't promoting any kind of music, only the sound quality. I don't think that my age has anything to do with it. If you don't understand the difference, that's your problem. Go back and read the manual. Different opinions make the world go 'round.

    Jud

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    Re: XM sound quality

    I agree. Every cars i've owned the XM/Sirius radio quality has been awful. Its the way it is unfortunately. I love the traffic maps however.

  16. #15
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    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Funny, while XM sounded awful in my V1, it sounded great in my '09. Relatively, that is. But for most of the popular stations, it sounded about the same as the FM channels.

    It sounded good enough that I didn't listen to many CDs or Pandora. Have you guys adjusted your settings for XM??

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