Looking For A Radio

LA_A's

New Member
May 23, 2009
4
0
1
Southern California
Hi, I'm the new guy.

I'm looking for a portable satellite radio that I can use while I'm out biking in the hills. I haven't subscribed to XM or Sirius yet, but was leaning to Sirius. I only like music when I'm riding, but Stern would be cool to listen to at home.

Are any of the portables that get better reception?

Thanks,
JG
 

Grüpsaar

DRC Forum Bum
Oct 11, 2008
2,360
100
48
32
Anytown, WI
www.youtube.com
Hi! welcome to DRC.

As far as portables go, there are two to consider as far as the latest and greatest go for either Sirius or XM models go.

If you are using these outside in the wilderness, that already answers one question. Sirius's Stiletto 2 has built in Wifi for listening to stations via an internet connection eithout worrying about satellite signal. But, if this is primiarlily used outside, this isn't an issue. But if you like the idea of using it elsewhere and at home wirelessly, this is something to remember.

Also, The stiletto can record a channels for later listening, which is something you might consider doing when you are at home, then take several hours of content with you when you go out, so in case you have trouble getting signal while biking, you don't have to worry about skips in audio.

Thats where the XM unit, the XMP3 comes in. It features the same basic stuff as the stiletto 2, only it can record 5 channels at once. Also, both units feature removable mini sd card slots for your own content. I don't know which one would get better signal for you, and how well riding bike under trees and such would allow for crystal clear live reception, but with an external pair of antennea headphones plugged in, you may be in the clear. Someone with more outside expierence with either of these units can chip in. But thats as much as I know about either of the two radios.

There is always an option to get an older portable from either side, but I think the features in these newer ones justify dropping a few bucks to get them rather than be stuck with older tech.
 

TheScionicMan

Last non-Hating Stern Fan
Oct 11, 2008
2,171
93
48
On the Sirius side, there's not a lot of choice in portables. You'll probably want to look at the Stiletto 2. Depending on the location and layout of the hills you speak of, you may or may not get good reception while riding but the Stiletto will cache several of your favorite stations which would probably work good while riding. Plus it gives you the ability to skip. You can also add your own MP3s and even save them from the sat stream when you're listening live. You can also schedule it to record Howard which, IMO, is the best way to listen.
 

Allanon

Member
Oct 17, 2008
313
16
18
I don't know which one would get better signal for you, and how well riding bike under trees and such would allow for crystal clear live reception, but with an external pair of antennea headphones plugged in, you may be in the clear. Someone with more outside expierence with either of these units can chip in. But thats as much as I know about either of the two radios.

I have experience with the SL2. I'm in a city with great terrestrial signal, so I get excellent signal even without antenna headphones.

When I get, with my bicycle(*), farther from downtown, then plugging the antenna headphones help a lot. Last year, I went to a far, isolated area (an hour away from the nearest village), and got great satellite reception using the antenna headphones.

Of course, YMMV.

For security, I use bicycle speakers from ActiveTunes: i-RIDE Bicycle Stereo
 

ClubSteeler

Member
Oct 16, 2008
416
11
18
Hi, I'm the new guy.

I'm looking for a portable satellite radio that I can use while I'm out biking in the hills. I haven't subscribed to XM or Sirius yet, but was leaning to Sirius. I only like music when I'm riding, but Stern would be cool to listen to at home.

Are any of the portables that get better reception?

Thanks,
JG

In my opinion the Stiletto 100 is a more stable radio than the Stiletto 2.

That said, I find these radios to be OK for portable/excercise use, but not great. I get a lot of drop outs when jogging, and the unit itself is big and bulky when compared to a little MP3 player.

The nice thing is, you can record 100 hours of content. So why even both lsitening "LIVE". It's actually better to listen to recorded content because you can skip over songs that you do not like. Additionally, everytime you hear a song you like when lsitening live, you can record that song onto your device with a single button push. Also, you can download your personal MP3s on to the device too.

I've heard that the XMP3 gets great reception without having to use uncmofortable antenna headphones. You might want to look into that, unfortunate you'll need to pay an extra $4/mo to get Howard because he's not on regular XM.

I HIGHLY recommend a portable for just about anyone. However, I got a cheap $20 MP3 player for tunes while jogging, just works better for me.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
19,611
7,216
168
Toronto, ON
I like the portable radios. There are times when you want to catch something live and need to be outside.

But the biggest feature, particularly for music, is the ability of the radio to record content for later listening. This too me is the #1 feature of a portable sat radio whether it be Sirius SL2 or the XM XMP3.

Another thing to keep in mind is that listening to sat rad live in portable mode uses a lot of battery power. 5 hours is the max time you would have before recharging. In library mode, you can go up to 20 hours.
 

nafddur

Member
Oct 18, 2008
174
3
18
In my opinion the Stiletto 100 is a more stable radio than the Stiletto 2.

Agreed. But a word of caution with SL100's is the weak headphone jack - especially with lots of portable (ie jogging) use. While I had fewer electronic (memory corruption) problems with the SL100 than both the S50 and S2, the weak headphone jack broke on both my SL100's (before I upgraded to the S2).
 
Oct 10, 2008
644
11
18
Chicago
Hi, I'm the new guy.

I'm looking for a portable satellite radio that I can use while I'm out biking in the hills.

Welcome to DRC. I bike/run with a stiletto 2 and I love it! I also use it at my gym which has wifi. I know some people have said an SL100 is better, but for long term use and having compatible products around, I would disagree. The SL100 and most of it's components have been discontinued and are getting harder and harder to find. Whenever someone is looking into getting a new radio I always suggest something new and up to date as supposed to something that had already been out of production for quite some time. The choice is your though and to be honest, any portable unit you buy will work great and I'm sure will fit your needs. I have also used the XMP3 as well, but like my SL2 better because of wifi.
 

HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
40,209
11,784
168
Toledo, Ohio
I've got the SL2 and love it. I've found it to be more stable than the SL100, but I don't do programmed recording with it. About the only tome I use it portably is when I'm mowing the lawn or clearing the snow off the walks. (But you probably don't have to worry about the later. . . . ) Anyway, we only have one repeater around here, so I don't get great portable reception in my yard under the trees, so I just listen to loved songs or mp3's.

Can't comment on the XM portables though.

Welcome to the DRC!
 

geosync

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,843
304
88
Portland, Or
Have had both services in the LA area, which I assume is where the OP is from. Just got back from using an XM portable, the Inno, and it worked everywhere. If you can do without Howard I would recommend going with XM and either the newer XMP3 or for cheaper the Inno. I think the Inno is a tougher device, though it can't record 5 channels at a time, nor rewind and pause during live listening. If you need some Howard I'd just get a Stiletto 2, the Sirius portable reception is pretty solid in LA, though asking either service with any satellite radio in the hills on a bike is asking for a whole lot. There are no guarantees.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
19,611
7,216
168
Toronto, ON
Have had both services in the LA area, which I assume is where the OP is from. Just got back from using an XM portable, the Inno, and it worked everywhere. If you can do without Howard I would recommend going with XM and either the newer XMP3 or for cheaper the Inno. I think the Inno is a tougher device, though it can't record 5 channels at a time, nor rewind and pause during live listening. If you need some Howard I'd just get a Stiletto 2, the Sirius portable reception is pretty solid in LA, though asking either service with any satellite radio in the hills on a bike is asking for a whole lot. There are no guarantees.

Howard can also be available on an XM radio through Best Of Sirius as well.
 

Ehilbert1

Ooh-Rah!!!!
Oct 13, 2008
4,480
1,219
113
Columbus, OH
I'm sure this has already been said but the wifi option on the SL1 and SL2 are life savers for me. I had the 100 and now I have the SL2. I can't get a very good signal inside my home and the wifi option works great. I would say I use wifi 90% of the time. I tried using it outside with the headphones supplied and it didn't work well for me. I'm sure signal strength is subject to change everywhere. I hope they come out with a SL3 or a new radio with wifi.
 
Last edited:

LA_A's

New Member
May 23, 2009
4
0
1
Southern California
Wow! You guys are great! Thanks for all the advice.

You gave me a lot to think about. As long as I can load the thing up with MP3's or stuff I record, I think I'll be doin pretty good.

Thanks again!
 

kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
9,460
1,207
113
Absolutely! I would be really frustrated if I didn't have this option.

I've had stilettos since Summer of 2007, if not a bit earlier, and it seems like i've NEVER been able to get reception without an antenna, except for about 2-09 to about very early this month?

Either these things are deliberately built so you HAVE to use the antenna headphones, or i've had terrible luck.
 

semipenguin

Cheeseburger Connoisseur
Oct 11, 2008
24,641
8,783
168
50
Do they make antenna/headphones for the XMP3? I must say that without them, I really can't recommend the XMP3 if you're looking for a full/true portable.

Sometimes I walk from my house to where I park my truck and I continually lose a signal while walking with my XMP3 in my hand. I'm thinking about ducttaping it to my head while I'm out and about...:shock:

Unless you have a real need for the MLB, I'd recommend the Stiletto 2. The antenna/headphones look a lot better then the Stiletto 100's painphones...:worried:

Good luck...:)
 

no1hedberg

Member
Oct 13, 2008
335
19
18
West Virginia
I have both SL2 and XMP3. XMP3 seems to have better reception from the internal antenna outside. Without getting into a long explanation, Xm's sats are in stationary orbit, and Sirius birds move constantly. The result is with XM your either pointed toward the sat or your not. So you either have reception or you don't. It's pretty much the same all the time. If recorded content is ok the xmp3 always has tons of content ready to go because it records up to 5 of your favorite channels all the time. The xmp3 sucks for scheduled recordings though. If you schedule regular recordings, like Stern, it stops recording new shows until you listen to the old ones first. XM with the best of Sirius gets you pretty much everything sat rad has to offer. Sirius with best of XM doesn't get you MLB. I've also had problems using a micro SD card with my XMP3, but that feature works great on my SL2. The XMP3 comes with a home dock, but no antenna headphones. The Stiletto comes with the headphones but no dock. The home dock is pretty important for any portable so that cost should factor into your decision. There is also the Wifi on Stiletto, and lack of it on xmp3. It sounds confusing, and maybe it is, but either way you will probably like what you get. Welcome to DRC.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IdRatherBeSkiing