[quote:9598bd5616="SmuthyB"]Has anyone installed XM radio? Just wondering about costs/quality of sound/, etc.[/quote:9598bd5616]
I'd like to know these answers too. I'm going to go aftermarket on stereo and alarm, and several of the stereos I'm looking at are either XM or Sirius-ready. I'll probably have to go to Sirius because XM doesn't carry NPR.
Kim, I've had XM since September and I'd be really hesitant about "XM-ready" stereos. That's what I had, a very nice XM-ready Sony, and there are a couple of problems. First, having a Sony, I was locked into a Sony XM receiver, which cost much more than other available receivers. I don't know for sure that would be true for other brands, but it is for Sony.
Secondly, and much more important in my opinion, is that the display area on most XM-ready stereos is very small and the controls are not XM-dedicated, just XM-adapted. When you're shopping, compare the display areas to the Delphi Skifi and you'll see what I mean. I never did figure out how to use the XM preset buttons on the SONY, and the display would show only the first few letters of the song or program.
IMHO, NPR programming would be the only reason to go with Sirius, but that's counterbalanced by the fact that Sirius has a larger monthly charge. I keep hoping that XM will pick up NPR. It does have other good news channels though (BBC, CNN, etc.).
This is turning into a long post, but one more thing. I'm going with the Delphi SkiFi in my E, hopefully tomorrow! (I had to sell my old unit first.) There are several other threads about installation, but I'm going to mount the receiver bracket below the shifter, so it will be convenient, and initially plug it in through the AUX input. When aftermarket converters become available for the E, I'll then hardwire the receiver to the CD-changer input.
Although I have loved Sony for my home electronics, it was suggested I steer clear of them for car audio. Hearing what you have to say about the XM-ready unit, I can see why.
And yeah, NPR is the Sirius thing's only strength, and considering that I can listen to it on my local station, I see no reason to jump into Sirius just for that (But ask me again during donation pledge week - I go bananas then!)
My best buddie just had a Kenwood Sirius radio installed. It runs his factory speakers. I notice a very nice quality increase in the sound. The head unit, sirius tuner, antenna all together put him back about 500$. I will probably get one when i get me an Element in a few weeks.
I got my Delphi XM yesterday, and had it installed. I was delighted to find that they just reduced the price! Receiver was $99 and car kit was $67. (This was at Circuit City.)
I decided to put it on the shelf in front of the AUX input, because I was sure I'd knock it off if I put it below the shifter. They made a bracket that velcros to the car, and then the Delphi car cradle is on that. I'm going to play with it a little, as I want to angle it more toward me; right now, it faces straight out. I also decided just to plug it in to the AUX and the lighter, rather than pull the radio. Once the adapter is available to plug it into the CD changer on the radio, then I think I'll have it hardwired in.
I'm pretty pleased with the whole thing. The sound is good, and the receiver is within reach, though with the remote, that doesn't really matter.
I just read an article on XM vs Sirius. They addressed NPR BUT said that Sirius IS NOT carrying NPR freature programming like Morning Edition , ATC etc.
Without that I don't consider them to be "carrying" NPR at all!
The article also said that Honda has like an 8% ownership of XM. Doesn't Honda have XM capable receivers?
I have a Pioneer FM-modulated XM reciever in my Element. The sound quality is excellent, but at a certain frequency range the sound makes a crackling noise. It's only at a certain range and it doesn't happen very often. Very nitpicky observation. The Pioneer display doesn't show the whole song title or band name due to the limitation of the display. I think the Delphi would have been a better bet, but I got a huge discount with the Pioneer due to it being used.
My husband has the Pioneer in his truck, but when he got it (last July), that was about all that was available. Not too long after I got my Sony (September), the Delphi came out. :?
When I got my E, I was glad to have the chance to sell my Sony and buy the Delphi! Of the three, the Delphi has the best display and controls, but the Pioneer is really not bad at all. The controls and presets are easy to use. Plus, it's a little smaller than the Delphi, so the install options are a little better. The controls and display of the XM-ready Sony were horrible!
I love my XM!!!! I don't think I could live without it! We hooked it up when we had our trip driving to FL from VA and it was great. I just have factory speakers and head unit, just added the Del Phi right in front of the console on the floor.
I've had a Delphi XM unit at home for about 6 months, since I can't get FM very well. When I got my EX last week, the dealer installed a car kit I bought.
This was the first one they have installed. If I had it to do over again, I would use right angle audio plugs. I still may change them out sometime.
There's nothing standard about the connectors in the EX. There are 6 wires going to the rear of the AUX (MP3) connector. Rather than figure out how to hardware them, we just ran the audio cable out next to the connector. If I ever DO need to use another device, the Dephi can just be unplugged here.
The power was hardwired in, right here at the front accessory outlet. Since the voltage reduction for the Delphi takes place in the accessory plug, that assembly had to be reconfigured and reconnected.
As other threads have discussed, the fact that the accessory plugs go off when the E is turned off is a problem. It may be possible to rewire it -- in fact it IS possible, just not easy. The EX has two accessory outlets, separately fused at 10 amps each. The power to the front outlet comes on at the fuse block when the ignition switch is in the "On" or "Accessory" position.
The power from the fuse block to the rear outlet is on all the time. It's just that the power is controlled by a relay located behind the glove compartment. The coil to that relay is powered by the same circuit that powers the front outlet.
I asked the dealer to look at rewiring the outlets so they would be on all the time. Honda won't let them. Voids the warranty.
I mounted the antenna on the left side near the rear hatch. The wire goes under the plastic molding ...
... and comes out near the wiring harness for the hatch.
Here it enters the plastic harness cover, where it makes its way north thru the frame, where it eventually connects to the cradle on the dash.
If you get one of these little tuners that you can hook up to the existing stereo and then take in the house... etc you lose some sound quality. These systems us an FM modulator that works sort of like a mr. microphone. You set it to broadcast to a channel where there is no radio station in your area, then tune your radio to that channel. The signal is broadcast through your radio. To get a pure sound, get a stereo that is ready for xm or sirius.
Another drawback to the "mr. microphone" system is that if you go on a trip you may encounter a radio station on the channel that you have your sattelite radio set on. This makes road trips a huge pain in the butt because you are always re-setting your system to avoid static and talk-over from local stations. Even two or three hours away from home can pick up different radio stations.
Well, not exactly, getmygoat. At least not in the E. I've got my Delphi plugged into the Aux input, as does Bobh, as shown in his picture, so there's no FM modulator involved. Just push that nice AUX button on the radio to switch to XM. And sometime in the future (hopefully not too long), there will be an Aux converter for the E, so that the XM can be hooked into the CD changer input in the back of the radio.
Foxtail's right. The Delphi provides line level outputs. There IS an FM modulator available for use with those car radios that don't have an AUX input, but it's not needed on the EX models (I believe that the DX models don't have that?) That was one of the reasons I had the Delphi installed before I picked up my E.
The home cradle -- which includes it's own antenna -- plugs directly into one of the input channels of my home audio system. No FM modulator there either.
SmuthyB started this thread by asking about sound quality and, which we never did respond to.
Sound Quality is, of course, in the ear of the beholder. I don't think anyone would claim that even the superHondaaudio system is that great; lots of threads on this an other boards talk about changing out the speakers, but if you want REALLY great quality ... start by replacing the head. As it sits, though, the XM quality is every bit as good as CDs ... to my untrained and unrefined ears.
The cost of a single station system is about 140 bucks. 70 for the receiver, another 70 for either a home kit or a car kit. There's also PC kits and boomboxes available. Check out http://delphi.com/electronics/skyfi/.