Satellite Radio Receiver
Satellite Radio Receivers - The Best of the Best
Satellite Radio is the new way to do radio. It has high-quality sound and over 100 different stations-or channels of music and entertainment. Satellite radio comes, as the name entails, from satellites. The two companies that offer satellite radio-XM and Sirius, have Earth-based stations that send information up to the satellites, where they are then sent back down all around the world. From there it's sent to you in your receiver, where your receiver decodes the information and plays your entertainment. But which receiver should you choose?
After you choose which Satellite radio company to go with, you need to choose a portable receiver.
XM has the Audiovox XMCK30PXM Xpress-RC satellite radio receiver. It can plug into your car, then plug it into your boom-box at work then to your home docking system when you get home (boom-box and home docking system required, obviously), so you can never be without your 100+ streaming radio stations. In addition to hours of entertainment the system offers a clock, alarm, program alert and sleep timer.
If you're a Sirius radio subscriber, there is the Jensen Jam Pack Portable Receiver. Audiovox owns Jensen, so the products are practically the same, and are adaptable to the same boom boxes and home docking systems. The Audiovox receiver is about twice as heavy (at 8 pounds, compared to the Jensen's 4.1 pounds) and has several added features. With the XM version you can pause and play up to 60 minutes of programming, it can show you what 4 different channels are playing simultaneously, and can alert you when your favorite songs are being played on a station you're not already listening to. The Audiovox runs for just under $135 on Amazon.com.
SIRIUS Sportster 5 Satellite Radio Receiver with Vehicle Kit will probably be your best bet. Not only is it totally sleek and modern in it's gun-metal finish, it has more features than you could ever figure out in a day. It can save up to 30 stations and can pause, rewind, replay up to 60 minutes. The Sportster caters to the sports fan (hence the name)-It alerts you when your favorite teams are playing on another station, and you can search through teams from various sports leagues- NFL, NBA, NHL, college sports, etc-instead of flipping through channels trying to find the game you want. But even if you did have to flip through stations, the 30 preset station option makes that as easy as clicking a single button. But if sports aren't your thing, the SIRIUS Sportster 5 gives great sound quality for all your favorite jams. The $140 is definitely worth the hours of entertainment you'll get from it in your home, office, car, boat or where ever else you have adaptable speakers.
Boom-boxes and Home Docking Systems
Now in order to play that portable satellite radio receiver anywhere besides through your car speakers, you'll need a boom-box and/or home docking system or two.
For your aforementioned Xpress portable receiver (or RoadyXT or SKYFi if that's what you choose) the Audiovox XMAS100 XM Compact Sound System is a compact and simple option. The four 2-inch speakers deliver 16 watts of RMS power behind a simple black and aluminum front.. It's also compatible with your iPod, or other mp3 player and has a sleek little remote. Being that it's only 8.2 x 18.5 x 5.6 inches big, you can put it where ever you want your music-night stand, studio apartment, breakfast nook. If you're like me and like your electronics to take up as little space as possible, but still produce the quality and versatility of the big ones, this is the docking system for you. It sells for about $121 on Amazon.com.
Now that I've talked about the small and sleek and inexpensive, I'm going to rave about the Sirius SUB-X1 Universal Plug 'n' Play. It's only a little bigger at 9.6 x 21.8 x 9.8 inches, but it has quite the presence-it has an old school boom-box-inspired look, handle and all. It even has a battery power option, so now you can walk down the street with music from 1991 playing on your shoulder with the sound quality of 2009. Only with this one you can't get the bass pumping-it has no bass or treble adjusting option. It's compatible with Sirius Sportser, Starmate and Stratus portable satellite radio receivers. If the $310 tag is out of your price range, the $130 Sirius Soloist Universal Sound System may be something you could want. It has a tall, wide, flat speaker that gives it not only a gorgeous modern look, but a gorgeous, modern sound as well. It is compatible with Sportster 3 and 4, but not the Sportster 5 we were talking about earlier. It also works with some Stiletto, Stratus and Starmate receivers and your iPod. The detachable antenna is best placed on the roof (as should other waterproof satellite radio receiver antennas) and five built-in equalization settings, among other fun things.
With the subscriptions, installation fees and not to mention the systems and other gear, the price of switching from your free AM/FM radio can add up quickly. But once you browse through the stations and listen to the sound difference, you won't regret it. Heck, even Howard Stern switched over years ago, it's time you did too.
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