XMp3 Review

Discussion in 'XM Portables' started by DAB, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Taylor of TSS-Radio sent his Pioneer XMp3 to me today and I've run it through the paces, so here is my review.

    The packaging is pretty much the same as it is with most of the Sirius XM Radios, nothing really special at all.

    The XMp3 comes with the radio, home kit, antenna, earphones, power supply, usb cable and remote.

    Since I have an Delphi XM Personal Repeater I didn't make use of the included antenna. One thing I noticed right off the bat. The power is off the left side, the audio off the back and the antenna plugs into the right side. (This is if you are looking at the home dock from the front) The dock is small, but it just seems odd to me that they they separated all these plug-ins. However, the power adapter does have a nice 90 degree angle and so does the included home antenna so for most this should not be an issue.

    I then docked the radio and powered it up. Powering On... followed by Pioneer, followed by the XM power on logo.... Contact, Houston we have sat radio. I didn't have to activate because Taylor had already done this.

    Immediately I noticed the display was really bright and crisp, much like the XpressRC just smaller. I quickly scrolled through the menus and options. I have to admit initially it was a bit confusing. I am so use to just scrolling on the Stiletto SL2 and getting the list of channel. This happens too, but if you hit the left and right buttons you don't get categories. In order to get to categories you have to dive into the menu.

    You go to menu (XM) and you'll see (Pic Below)
    Favorite Channels
    All Channels
    All Categories
    XM Highlights
    Schedule Recording

    I personally find the SL2 method of being able to hit the left and right buttons on the wheel much more intuitive. This is certainly not a deal killer.

    Recording; you can do scheduled recording, auto recordings, along with recording individual songs. The schedule recording is really simple just go into the menu to Schedule Recording and plug in the information, the XMp3 will handle it from there. Auto Recordings, you can select up to 5 channels that you want it to record and it will then continue to select channels based on your listening habits to add. Like when I got it from Taylor it had Playboy Channel (uh we know what Taylor listens too LOL) along with Howard Stern. I added XM Gore to see how it works, you can add and remove your specified auto record channels.

    Now the COOL FACTOR; which is that while listening to one channel it is recording into your favorites at the same time. Which means you always have plenty of recording content. This is a big improvement over the SL100 and SL2 which only records what is actually playing, though you can listen to the Library. The other really COOL FACTOR; View Programs, you can actually go to Options click View Programs and it will give you a list of programs that are coming up and what time they start. If you click on one of these you can also schedule it to record, get an alert when it comes on or read more information about it. NOW HOW COOL IS THAT?

    The Library for recorded content is very nice, you can review it by channel, category, artist, auto recordings, date and time, playlist or all songs.

    You can add a microSDHC card they claim up to 8GB, but I know the SL2 will currently support up to 16GB, so that is probably true for the XMp3. One thing you'll notice is that the XMp3 unlike the SL2 loads the information off the card in the background and doesn't give any indications that the card is installed or make you wait 5 minutes while it reads the card. A much better implementation.

    Like with previous XM radios you can do the stock and sports ticker or is that tickler.. hehe. I am sure MM would know.

    In the menu under settings you can set EQ Settings (I didn't find these were very good except for Max Boost), Change the Display (Brightness and Back-light time out), Edit Alerts (Tune Select, Game Select, Programs Turn Alerts On and Off), Info Extra (this is where you set the sports and stock ticker), Channel Access (Direct Tune on and off, Channel skip and add, xL channels on or off), Auto Recordings (On or Off), Line Level, Antenna Aiming, Set Time, Restore Defaults, Memory Usage.

    One other thing on the display. If you select it to 15, 30 or even 1 minutes it will go into a very low light mode, which is very good for night time.

    There is also a Keypad button where you can go in and punch in direct channel numbers to jump immediately to a certain channel. I really like this.

    Overall I think the Pioneer XMp3 is a really nice radio. The display is one of the best I've seen on an XM radio, the menus are a bit confusing but once you get it down it is okay. Recording is fantastic and of course the COOL FACTORS as mentioned above is just icing on the cake. I can see that this would be a very nice tuner to have. It is a bit pricey at $279, plus if you want to use it in your vehicle you would need to buy a car kit, unless you opted to just listen to recorded content much like the Slacker G2.

    Now pictures below: I didn't really take a lot of pictures of the XMp3, but I did take some caparison pictures using the iPod Touch, Stiletto SL2, Slacker G2 and of course the Pioneer XMp3.







    Comments and discussion IS welcome. Enjoy!
  2. SatRadioRules

    SatRadioRules Member

    Great review, as usual, DAB. Amy chance of photos next to the original Inno? I'd like to see the front and side comparisons.

    I have the Helix (the abandoned twin of the Inno) and love it, but not sure I need to replace it. The Slacker looks pretty cool, but I'm sticking with sat radio for now.

    Thanks, again..your reviews are great.
  3. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Thanks SRS, I am sorry, but I sold my Inno so I no longer have one of those to provide you what you request.

    I think there are things you'd give up by switching from the Helix, but you'd also gain some things too. I think you just have to weigh it out and decide. Honestly I am not sure that I'd upgrade from the Inno or Helix for it. Though those COOL FACTORS as I call them are very nice.

    The Slacker is also very sweet. But I just somehow feel disconnected using it. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. Still the professional programmed channels are very well done.
  4. TX WJ

    TX WJ Intelligent Donkey

    Dab great review.

    Just a couple of questions.

    I want a radio that would allow me to record shows when it is in my car and I am not.

    Can it record while it is in the car dock?

    Do you have the Car Dock.

    I guess that it does get the best of Sirius.

    Can it skip commercials ?

    Looking for a radio to record Mike and Mike (ESPN) , Collin Cowherd (ESPN) , Glenn Beck (XM) and Moving The Chains (Sirius NFL Radio) each and every day.

    I would love to record them each and every day, is this my radio?
  5. me_rubin

    me_rubin Member

    DAB. I see it has a clock on the display. Does it have a sleep timer? If events are set to record, does it "Wake UP" or record in the background.

    Thanks and Great Review...
  6. AZDude

    AZDude Member

    The Xmp3 looks pretty nice. I like the look of the signal indicator on this one better than on the other radios. Also DAB, you're so spoiled :p
  7. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    I do not have a car kit, but I have looked through the manual on both the radio and the car kit online and the only thing I see is where it say that in order to auto-record it must be docked in home or car dock. Now does that mean you can setup schedule recordings? I don't know, I'll see what I can do to find out.

    You can get the best of Sirius in fact that is on this Radio now

    Yes this tuner actually give you a run down of the channel when it records and you can indeed skip commericals or whole segments if you want too. Works very well

    You can indeed setup recordings for all those shows you mentioned. I just reviewed the program preview and the times are there to schedule it.

    The big question for you is does it record schedule recording in a car dock? I'll try to find out for you.

    Yes it does have have a sleep timer for up to 60 minutes and it will automatically shut off. It stays a sleep when it records the scheduled recordings.

    Yeah, I am pretty darn spoiled. Now after doing these reviews, I will have to send the XMp3 back to Taylor at TSS-Radio. I still debating with myself about the Slacker G2, might take it back too. :)
  8. snakester

    snakester Member

    I saw one of these in the local Best Buy, and it looks slick. DAB, can it do FM transmitting from the home dock? If it cant that would be a deal breaker for me (My inno is stuck on 1.05 because of that and I'm so sick of the battery drain issue making it nearly impossible to use my inno the way it was intended)
  9. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    No FM transmission from the home dock! You don't even get an FM menu until it is plugged into a car dock.
  10. snakester

    snakester Member

    Stupid... even the stilettos have this. It's gimped BAD (2 feet from the radio and you start getting static) but at least it's there. Do they even realize how many alarm clocks DON'T have an aux in?
  11. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    You'll get no argument from me. I've never understood why they would not make the FM Trans available via the home dock. I suppose they figure most will plug them into aux-input for the stereo, boombox etc.

    To be honest though I never realized how many people used FM trans at home. I would have never believed it till I seen so many of the forums report that they use it.

    There is that House FM Trans that many people talk about, but then of course that just cost you more money. I guess there is always a solution if you want to throw money at it.
  12. snakester

    snakester Member

    It totally puts this radio out of reach for me. It would work fine for me at home because I have an alarm clock with an aux in, but I go to a lake resort for vacation two weeks out of the year. Absolutely NO sirius signal, but since the lake is to the south I can pick up XM's signal pretty reliably. The alarm clock I bring up there doesn't have an AUX in. Which means I would have no way of listening to this radio there without throwing EVEN MORE money at it. Why should I shell out almost 300 bucks for a radio that can't do something that simple that my Inno is totally capable of doing?
  13. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Exactly! I think also the fact that some of the recording ability has been curved on this device as opposed to the Inno is another reason many Inno and Helix owners won't be upgrading.
  14. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    The SL2 does not have FM in the home dock. Lets give a big round of thanx to the FCC on this one.

    The best solution may be to purchase a FM transmitter.
  15. ClubSteeler

    ClubSteeler Member

    Looks awesome. I wonder if there are any plans for a Sirius version...
  16. SatRadioRules

    SatRadioRules Member

    DAB - Thanks! I'll go check one out. I really enjoy the size of the Helix, so I don't want anything larger. It may be an impulse buy! I have best of Sirius on the Helix, so I'd also have that on the new one.

    Tex - Nice to see you -- if you purchase one, please let us know your thoughts as well.
  17. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    The XMP3 is definitely my favorite Satellite Radio at this time. It suits my needs better than the Stiletto. I don't need or use the Wifi like some people do. Every place I want to use my Stiletto 2 I get Satellite Reception just fine.

    My main use of a Satellite Radio is to record and listen back to the shows and programs I like. I'm not recording much music on it or importing much into the unit either.

    For my needs the XMP3 is even better than the Stiletto for this. It wouldn't be the same if I couldn't get the Best of SIRIUS on it.

    I activated the unit very easily on XMradio.com. The process was easy and I paid for a year upfront. The XM service seems to activate a bit slower than SIRIUS, but once it was loading all the channels on I was excited.

    The channel images for the Best of SIRIUS channels took longer to load initially than the XM channel logos.

    Being able to listen to my favorite SIRIUS channels on this device is so cool. This is the first XM unit I'm totally embracing, not since the other radios didn't make the cut, it's just since the merger is in full effect this is the first one I really can happily embrace.
  18. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

  19. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    Here is everything that comes with it. For Stiletto owners it's important to note they don't include Antenna Headphones. But they do include a Home Kit. It's a trade off, but IMO a kit is worth more to someone than the Antenna Headphones. However some may not even need a home kit and are spending more money on something they might not use.
  20. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    Woo Hoo. My favorite channel.
    I press the record button on the bottom of the XMP3 and..
    The recording on the fly is very easy. Then I'm given this option when I choose record channel.

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