Sirius Home Kit vs Online 128K iPod Touch App

siriusfan

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Nov 5, 2008
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Last year I bought a Starmate home kit so I could listen to Sirius on my high end stereo. Now I am wondering whether it would be wiser to get an iPod Home Kit and listen online through through the Sirius iPod Touch Application. So is sound quality via iPod Touch App better than via Starmate Home Kit? Has anyone done a comparison?
 

hyson

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Oct 19, 2008
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I'd have to guess that the Siri homekit would HAVE to be better SQ. You're getting the stream directly from the source and rerouted through a third party app.
 

limegrass69

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Oct 12, 2008
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128k Internet stream audio quality beats the satellite signal hands down for music. It's not even close.

You do lose some talk/sports/news programming by streaming over the Internet, but you also pick up some music channels online that you don't get over the sats.

Download the app and give it a shot for a few days. There's nothing to lose, and you'll be impressed with the sound quality. The 128k stream is the best $2.99/month I spend.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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My understanding of the iPhone app is that it uses a variable bitrate and you may not get the full 128k depending on whatever factors affect the bitrate of that app.

I know if I am not recording anything or using the internet heavily, I listen to the 128k stream on my SL2 and it sounds a bit better than the sat stream. And all the channels come in without dropouts something which I have not been able to do regardless of signal strength from the sats.
 

limegrass69

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Oct 12, 2008
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I've never heard a marked difference between my Sonos and the iPhone app, but considering you are paying the same $2.99/month to stream over the iPod/iPhone, they ought to provide you with something pretty damn close to the 128k stream.

Maybe there are iPhone specific issues that cause the stream rate to drop down?
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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I've never heard a marked difference between my Sonos and the iPhone app, but considering you are paying the same $2.99/month to stream over the iPod/iPhone, they ought to provide you with something pretty damn close to the 128k stream.

Maybe there are iPhone specific issues that cause the stream rate to drop down?

I believe the issue is something to do with the iPhone or AT&T.
 

Ehilbert1

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Oct 13, 2008
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I originaly bought my SL2 because I got nothing but drop outs on my Sportster Replay in the house. I used the SL2 for WIFI and my 32k sounded great with the speakers I ran it through. I can only imagine how good the 128k would be. I have a few friends that have Iphones and Sirius and they say it sounds ok,but not 128k ok.

I ended up also getting a XM XpressRC and I love it. I can get a full XM signal anywhere inside my house. I wish Sirius would have been like that. Anyway I just wanted to say that incase someone wants an XM with BOS for their house. It works great!
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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I originaly bought my SL2 because I got nothing but drop outs on my Sportster Replay in the house. I used the SL2 for WIFI and my 32k sounded great with the speakers I ran it through. I can only imagine how good the 128k would be. I have a few friends that have Iphones and Sirius and they say it sounds ok,but not 128k ok.

I ended up also getting a XM XpressRC and I love it. I can get a full XM signal anywhere inside my house. I wish Sirius would have been like that. Anyway I just wanted to say that incase someone wants an XM with BOS for their house. It works great!


The XM/Sirius decision about which one works is very location specific. Some people have the opposite experience. Repeater location or lack of, window direction, house construction all play into the choice of XM or Sirius. This is certainly a big advantage of WiFi. It is also why I am very surprised that some sort of WiFi capability was not built into the latest generation of XM radios.
 

limegrass69

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I imagine it would be difficult to maintain a consistent and reliable connection to keep the 128k stream going for extended periods of time on the AT&T network (especially if you are on the go). For normal Internet behavior, it's probably just fine, but streaming can be a little more picky. Once you start getting errors, it probably drops back to a slower speed.

My iPod Touch (wifi) sounds great to my ears.
 

Ehilbert1

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The XM/Sirius decision about which one works is very location specific. Some people have the opposite experience. Repeater location or lack of, window direction, house construction all play into the choice of XM or Sirius. This is certainly a big advantage of WiFi. It is also why I am very surprised that some sort of WiFi capability was not built into the latest generation of XM radios.

I wish they would have added WIFI to their radios. That would solve so many dropout problems for people with WIFI. I think thats the only thing missing on the XpressRC. Maybe they will do that with future radios. Thats if they every make new radios.
 

DAB

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Oct 9, 2008
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It is my understanding that the Sirius XM application while connected to Wifi actually gives you 128kb, but when connected via the Edge or 3G actually gives you a lower bitrate.

However to answer the original posters question, you will indeed get better SQ from the Sirius XM app and iPod Touch or iPhone than the sat feed. That has been the case since the SL100 was introduced a few years ago with premium internet.
 

hyson

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It is my understanding that the Sirius XM application while connected to Wifi actually gives you 128kb, but when connected via the Edge or 3G actually gives you a lower bitrate.

However to answer the original posters question, you will indeed get better SQ from the Sirius XM app and iPod Touch or iPhone than the sat feed. That has been the case since the SL100 was introduced a few years ago with premium internet.

I believe you. That's insane! Doesn't Sirius advertise "cd quality" sound?
 

DAB

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I believe you. That's insane! Doesn't Sirius advertise "cd quality" sound?

Not to my knowledge they have never advertise their service as CD Quality? They advertise it as digital. Now the Premium Internet service, yes I've seen them say CD Quality for the 128kb streaming, but never for the sats.

I think folks have made assumptions that because Sat Radio is digital that it means they sound quality is CD, that has never been the case in my 11 years of having this service.
 

kryptonite

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Oct 21, 2008
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Not to my knowledge they have never advertise their service as CD Quality? They advertise it as digital. Now the Premium Internet service, yes I've seen them say CD Quality for the 128kb streaming, but never for the sats.

I think folks have made assumptions that because Sat Radio is digital that it means they sound quality is CD, that has never been the case in my 11 years of having this service.


You've had satellite radio since 1998? :eek:
 

JoeTan

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Oct 14, 2008
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I think the variable bit rate is something more to do with the changes in available bandwith so it doesn't just drop out all of a sudden but instead just drops to keep the connection.

Maybe I just made this all up?
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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You've had satellite radio since 1998? :eek:

Actually October 2001 for XM and one year later October 2002 for Sirius. Sirius actually did a regional roll out in 4 markets in Feb 2002, but didn't start the national service until July 2002.

I actually had to think about all this to remember, seems like its been 11 years, but will be 9 years in Oct. Doesn't change the point of my original message!

You guys happy now! LOL :whistle:

Just another tidbit for Sirius: The very first launch was supposed to be Dec 2000, then March, then December 2001 and finally the regional roll out in Feb 2002 with the national launch in July 2002. Ahh the memories! Many of you young whipper snappers didn't follow sat radio back then.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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Just another tidbit for Sirius: The very first launch was supposed to be Dec 2000, then March, then December 2001 and finally the regional roll out in Feb 2002 with the national launch in July 2002. Ahh the memories! Many of you young whipper snappers didn't follow sat radio back then.

Any idea why they did a regional roll out? Was it just equipment availability? I can't imagine if you bought the equipment that it wouldn't work outside the area.

I heard about satrad in 2004 when my wife asked if it was something I might like. I said why on earth would anyone want to pay for radio?
 

Grüpsaar

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I remember hearing about Sat radio is about 2002 or maybe 2003. My brothers car has a new CD player unit that has "XM ready" on it, and I was intrigued. It seemed so cool to have a different way to have music beamed into a car that wasnt a cd or FM radio.. However, it wasn't until about 3 years later when I saw the Sirius Demo unit in Walmart that I ever experienced Satellite radio. It was amazing to me to see it, and soon after, I became addicted.
 

hyson

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Not to my knowledge they have never advertise their service as CD Quality? They advertise it as digital. Now the Premium Internet service, yes I've seen them say CD Quality for the 128kb streaming, but never for the sats.

I think folks have made assumptions that because Sat Radio is digital that it means they sound quality is CD, that has never been the case in my 11 years of having this service.

Now, I could have sworn and bet the farm that I've heard them advertise this (CD quality sound). It might have been on H100. I'm trying to find links to confirm this advertisement (which I've never believed because it's no where near cd quality).

Here is some support to this.

Here's another from the same forum.

I can't be nuts, right?