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Horrible Sound Quality - What can be done?

Horrible Sound Quality - What can be done?

  #1  
Old 10-24-2010, 11:48 PM
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Location: Victoria BC
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Horrible Sound Quality - What can be done?

I have a new FX4 that came with Sirius radio.

The sound is so bad, it sounds like an AM radio station. It's so bad I rarely listen to it and will avoid almost entirely.

My inlaws have XM radio in their vehicle and it sounds crystal clear - it's night and day compared to what we have in our F150. It's actually embarrassing to have them in the truck as they think we have a sub-standard sound system.

I've read a lot of threads about how bad the sound quality of Sirius is, but is there anything we can do about it, or are we stuck with it sounding like a horrible AM radio station?
 
  #2  
Old 10-25-2010, 06:20 AM
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Location: NC
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Yep - do what I did; don't renew your subscription and tell Sirius why.

Obviously I completely agree with you - the sound quality sucks, even on talk radio stations.
 
  #3  
Old 10-25-2010, 03:54 PM
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Location: DFW TX
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the speakers in the new trucks are just terrible period. its much more noticeable with sirius compared to a CD or FM. i replaced all my door speakers with alpines and that helped. still need a sub though because there is a huge lack of base and what base it does have sounds distorted.
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-2010, 08:42 PM
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Location: palmdale,ca
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i have sirius in my truck and xm in the wife's car and they both sound good to me i have the upgraded system in the truck and have no complaints neither sounds like a.m.
 
  #5  
Old 10-26-2010, 11:14 AM
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Yeah at this rate I don't think I'll be renewing when my 6 months free is up...

I do find it odd that this morning, I was listening to the Howard Stern morning show and it sounded perfect, like any normal local FM radio station broadcasting in stereo.

I guess there's different bandwidth available to certain channels.
 
  #6  
Old 10-26-2010, 12:55 PM
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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
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In my experience, poor sound quality, especially on an integrated system (control through the stock deck or aftermarket deck) is the result of poor signal or faulty equipment. If I can make a stand alone unit sound perfect through an FM Modulator, theres no reason you should be having issues. Im willing to bet its not Sirius. A quick fix before going to the dealer is call Sirius and see if the will re-beam the signal to your truck. Make sure the truck is on when doing this.
 
  #7  
Old 10-26-2010, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sundevil2188 View Post
In my experience, poor sound quality, especially on an integrated system (control through the stock deck or aftermarket deck) is the result of poor signal or faulty equipment. If I can make a stand alone unit sound perfect through an FM Modulator, theres no reason you should be having issues. Im willing to bet its not Sirius. A quick fix before going to the dealer is call Sirius and see if the will re-beam the signal to your truck. Make sure the truck is on when doing this.
X-2 you hit the nail on the head
 
  #8  
Old 11-04-2010, 12:38 PM
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I've had Sirius for years including in a Range Rover with a multi-thousand dollar factory stereo and it still sounds like crap...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.
 
  #9  
Old 11-04-2010, 04:13 PM
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Location: Western PA
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Well, the compression for Sirius-vs-XM really isn't all that different .

I can also tell you my wife's 09 Escape (factory Sirius) DOES NOT exhibit this phenom nor did my 06 F-150 with a Sirius Starmate interfaced via a P.I.E.unit.
Nor have any of the rental cars that I have been in over the last 18 months.

I think my stock audio unit is just crap or has problems.
 
  #10  
Old 11-04-2010, 11:55 PM
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Location: Michigan
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Sirius sounds like crap in my truck too. You can hear a huge difference between it and my ipod. So most of the time the ipod stays plugged in.

I used a portable XM unit in my Explorer and it sounded much better even on a stock stereo using the FM modulator. Sucks that my wife and I had the family plan through XM, but sirius won't honor it. Now we have separate plans with separate bills. Both of our current systems are integrated into the vehicles, so neither can just switch.
 
  #11  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:17 AM
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Location: NJ
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The bottom line is the bitrate is much lower on satellite radio because of all the compression they use.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=64686

Here's a link with all the bit rates of sat channels. As you can see they 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.

I guess if all you care about is bass and how loud it is, then you don't care. But if you care about sound quality in the whole frequency spectrum satellite has a long way to go. There are some audiophiles who can't listen to sat radio because to them it sounds like pure garbage.
 
  #12  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawkz28 View Post
There are some audiophiles who can't listen to sat radio because to them it sounds like pure garbage.
Uh, guilty as charged.

 
  #13  
Old 11-05-2010, 09:41 AM
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Location: Western PA
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Me too.

It's a shame because some units do a way better job of processing.
Like I said... my $60 Sirius Starmate unit had ten times better sound than the factory radio in this truck.
 
  #14  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:31 AM
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[QUOTE=Hawkz28;4387704]The bottom line is the bitrate is much lower on satellite radio because of all the compression they use.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=64686

Here's a link with all the bit rates of sat channels. As you can see they 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.QUOTE]

Thanks for the link...

I noticed that was back in 2008, so it would be interesting to see if the bit rates have increased since then...

I do plan on calling Sirius this week and asking them to re-beam the signal to my truck as Sundevil2188 suggested. Maybe that will fix it, or at least make it manageable to listen to.

The way it is now, it's horrific...
 
  #15  
Old 01-05-2018, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 1
Cool Sirius IS the problem

It is definitely a Sirius issue. Sirius seems to sound a lot worse than XM too. I have XM in my Cadillac and it sounds much better. XM has its own set of issues now with frequent dropouts due to intermodulation problems with cell towers. I have been in pro audio for 25 years and lots of my clients use Sirius for a business music source. I try to discourage this as much as possible because I always get a call from them saying "The sound system sounds terrible" I call on them, play material from another source (CD or even a decent quality MP3 file) and they agree that it is night and day difference. The higher quality the sound system is, the more apparent the crappy music quality is. It is reported that Sirius streams at 32kb/sec. This bandwidth is 1/10 the quality of Pandora or Spotify streamed to your cell phone. It sounds so bad in my F-150 I will not renew when the trial is up. It is absolutely ridiculous that they are able to charge what they do for something that sounds this bad.
 


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