XM Versus Sirius: Which Satellite Radio Should You Subscribe To?

Are you tired of flipping through the radio trying to find tunes to jam to, but all you find are boring channels with a lot of chit-chat or ads? That was me a few months ago, until I subscribed to satellite radio. With hundreds of commercial-free music stations and specialty channels like live football coverage and talk shows, you will definitely want satellite radio in your car too!

You can even buy devices that will allow you to have satellite radio almost anywhere – in your boat, house, even on capable cell phones! So if you decide you want the satellite entertainment experience, you can choose between two services: either XM or Sirius.

I subscribed to XM awhile back for my car simply because I was more familiar with it. Then when we got Dish Network in our home, Sirius came along with it. I have to say, Sirius has won me over.

Out of its 170+ stations, I find myself only listening to 4 or 5 channels on XM. Sirius has many stations I switch between. XM has a bad habit of repeating songs. I may end up hearing one song five times in one day within a few hours period. With Sirius, that isn’t the case. Furthermore, I do not like the way XM names its stations.

For example, some XM station names are “Fred” and “KISS” and “Watercolor.” I have to guess what types of music they play. If I mention a radio station called “The Joint,” how long would it take you to figure out that I’m talking about a reggae station? Sirius clearly names it’s stations, such as “Reggae Nation” and “Rolling Stones Radio,” for instance.

Sirius satellite radio broadcasts a lot clearer than XM, especially in relation to the talk channels. People’s voices come across a lot smoother and can be easier understood than XM, which tends to be fuzzy. XM has another sound problem. It sometimes will fade out of my front left speakers and only play through on the passenger side speakers. You’d think something was wrong with my audio system, but when I switch off XM and local stations come in, the sound immediately comes back to my left speakers.

XM has a few more channels than Sirius, but don’t forget to consider the quality and content of their channels. It’s true that XM has 90+ music channels, 10+ sports channels, 20+ news and talk channels, along with a few traffic channels. However, what are those channels exactly? XM rebroadcasts radio stations, but Sirius does not. Sirius only broadcasts original content that is produced in-house by the stream jockeys themselves.

When it comes to sports, you should compare channel listings for both XM and Sirius to see which hosts the sports programs that best suits your interests. For Nascar and Major League Baseball fans, you will need XM. On the other hand, if you like NFL and NBA, then you will want Sirius so you can keep up with play-by-play action and scores.

Along the same lines, if you will be doing a lot of listening to talk shows, Sirius has more of the popular shows such as “Discovery,” “Howard Stern,” and “Martha Stewart.” What celebrity talk show does XM have? The “Oprah Winfrey” show. Sirius also has “Playboy Radio.” What does XM have that could compete with that? Nothing.
XM has over 7 million subscribers, 3 million more than Sirius. And with both priced at $12.95 per month, you won’t be able to make your decision on cost. However, based on channel offerings, quality, and clarity, Sirius beats XM hands down.

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