: XM SQ vs. FM



GDPossehl
08-22-11, 02:09 PM
I work for a company that has a lot of newer cars with satellite radio in them. I'm pretty impressed with the SQ of the new radios. However, when I get in mine I'm thoroughly disappointed. Even FM radio sounds better than the XM SQ in my V. I've got an upgraded & amped subwoofer in the rear deck that sounds great with CD's and pretty good with FM radio. Have the XM receivers changed in recent years or is it just another downfall we face?

My XM service expired last month and if I can't improve the quality of the sound it's not worth paying for IMO.

Bigron
08-22-11, 03:04 PM
Yes the sound quality is worse and yes they have improved since then. Remember the receiver is the same one that was used in the 2003 CTS when it launched. Probably close to a 10 year old design at this point.

CadzillaTN
08-22-11, 03:42 PM
At best, satellite sounds like a low bit rate mp3 file. One gets used to it after a while, but once you hear fm radio or cd you can tell how bad it is.

I'd like to know why some stations sound like crap compared to others, even with the same eq settings...seems like maybe they allocate more bandwidth to some stations than others? I've also noticed the big "fm" stations being pumped through xm sound better than the regular music stations...so maybe original format factors into the equation..

GDPossehl
08-22-11, 06:47 PM
I wonder if swapping in a new XM receiver from a newer model car would be possible. Do the 07's have the same receiver as the 04?

Aurora40
08-22-11, 08:12 PM
I thought the rumor back in the day was that Sirius had better sound quality. Perhaps the new XM stuff uses the Sirius band, thus the percieved improvement.

I thought both were fairly tight-lipped about the actual bit rate they send.

GDPossehl
08-23-11, 11:21 AM
I wonder who I'd even be able to contact at SiriusXM about that stuff. I'd like to figure that out. Considering it's entirely dependent on me paying for the service I think they might be willing to take a stab at it to help a bro out.

repenttokyo
08-23-11, 11:56 AM
At best, satellite sounds like a low bit rate mp3 file. One gets used to it after a while, but once you hear fm radio or cd you can tell how bad it is.

I'd like to know why some stations sound like crap compared to others, even with the same eq settings...seems like maybe they allocate more bandwidth to some stations than others? I've also noticed the big "fm" stations being pumped through xm sound better than the regular music stations...so maybe original format factors into the equation..

yes, that's exactly how it works. the talk channels especially are given very low bandwidth.

lots of answers to these questions at www.xmfan.com.

GDPossehl
08-23-11, 04:04 PM
Thanks for the link. I'll do some reading.

GDPossehl
08-24-11, 11:19 AM
Made a thread over there and got some responses from the guy that seems to know his stuff best.


Yes, I've adjusted it in the limited ways I could. Low Mid High adjustments. I've upgraded the sub and used an amp with high level inputs to conquer the lack of bass. Sounds great with a CD, mediocre and tolerable with FM, but xm was still lacking.

I think my biggest question is why do the newer cars sound so much better? What's going on that's different from mine and how can I upgrade? I have no problem scouting out new hardware.


I think you've pretty much summed up the music-listening experience.

As far as your comparisons of your car vs. a newer car, I think that's because the differences in the factory sound systems. An XM tuner made in 04 has no sound quality difference as a new tuner put in a 2011. It's the processing and overall performance of the factory system after the audio leaves the tuner than makes the difference.

So I think we're just screwed all around with these POS units.