Quality of XM Radio Sound

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Jack Gillis, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Jack Gillis

    Jack Gillis Guest

    My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the sound
    over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    characteristic of XM Radio?


    Thank you.
     
    Jack Gillis, Oct 25, 2007
    #1
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  2. Jack Gillis

    Meat Plow Guest

    On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:19:26 -0400, Jack Gillis wrote:

    > My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the sound
    > over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    > characteristic of XM Radio?
    >
    >


    It's highly compressed and you're hearing the results on high frequencies.
    Sirius is the same. Turn down the treble and you might not notice it.
     
    Meat Plow, Oct 25, 2007
    #2
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  3. Jack,



    XM satellite radio utilizes a compression which makes the sound a bit more
    dull compared to an FM station that has a strong signal. The XM signal is
    currently sent in an variable rate compression equaling to a 96k MP3 stream.
    For talk radio the stream from the satellites can downgrade to 48k.



    I believe the average FM radio sounds like a 128k - 192k MP3 stream which is
    much clearer.



    I hope this answers your question!



    Del


    "Jack Gillis" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the sound
    > over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    > characteristic of XM Radio?
    >
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    >
     
    Delyan Raychev, Oct 25, 2007
    #3
  4. Jack Gillis

    Ryka Guest

    Is the same true for the XM broadcast I receive from my satellite ISP
    through my computer? I have XM radio through the Bose speaker system on my
    vehicle and XM and FM sound about the same. XM broadcasts on my computer do
    sound better than other computer radio broadcasts. Since XM is a three month
    trial I am wondering if it is worth $12.95 a month to sign up for it!


    "Delyan Raychev" <> wrote in message
    news:WG6Ui.2578$...
    > Jack,
    >
    >
    >
    > XM satellite radio utilizes a compression which makes the sound a bit more
    > dull compared to an FM station that has a strong signal. The XM signal is
    > currently sent in an variable rate compression equaling to a 96k MP3
    > stream. For talk radio the stream from the satellites can downgrade to
    > 48k.
    >
    >
    >
    > I believe the average FM radio sounds like a 128k - 192k MP3 stream which
    > is much clearer.
    >
    >
    >
    > I hope this answers your question!
    >
    >
    >
    > Del
    >
    >
    > "Jack Gillis" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the
    >> sound over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is
    >> this a characteristic of XM Radio?
    >>
    >>
    >> Thank you.
    >>
    >>

    >
     
    Ryka, Oct 25, 2007
    #4
  5. Jack Gillis

    Jack Gillis Guest

    Thank you, Meat Plow and others who replied. Turning down the treble did
    help quite a bit. Unfortunately, I came from an old Buick which had a very
    good Bose system without XM and I do miss it -- the Bose, not the Buick.

    --
    Jack Gillis
    "Meat Plow" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:19:26 -0400, Jack Gillis wrote:
    >
    >> My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the
    >> sound
    >> over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    >> characteristic of XM Radio?
    >>
    >>

    >
    > It's highly compressed and you're hearing the results on high frequencies.
    > Sirius is the same. Turn down the treble and you might not notice it.
    >
     
    Jack Gillis, Oct 25, 2007
    #5
  6. Jack Gillis

    elaich Guest

    "Ryka" <Ryka@dancin'shoes.com> wrote in news:_P7Ui.176$Dr7.196683
    @news.sisna.com:

    > Since XM is a three month
    > trial I am wondering if it is worth $12.95 a month to sign up for it!
    >


    You meant three day trial, right?

    XM sounds pretty good over DirectTV. My advice to you would be to spend
    time listening to all that XM has to offer, and decide for yourself. I
    would do it for 60s on 6 alone, but we have that at work already.

    --
    A: Because it disturbs the logical flow of the message.
    Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?
     
    elaich, Oct 26, 2007
    #6
  7. Jack Gillis

    Ryka Guest

    My 2008 Escalade came with a three month trial subscription to XM on the
    Bose system. With the vehicle subscription comes a three month computer
    subscription. After the three months, if I want to continue the subscription
    for the vehicle and computer, it would cost $12.95 each month. 6 is good!
    and 77 and 78. My DishNetwork has Sirius radio which sounds great with 5.1
    speakers. I am just trying to decide if the XM is worth the money to add to
    what is all ready great music in the vehicle and on the computer.


    "elaich" <|@|.|> wrote in message news:...
    > "Ryka" <Ryka@dancin'shoes.com> wrote in news:_P7Ui.176$Dr7.196683
    > @news.sisna.com:
    >
    >> Since XM is a three month
    >> trial I am wondering if it is worth $12.95 a month to sign up for it!
    >>

    >
    > You meant three day trial, right?
    >
    > XM sounds pretty good over DirectTV. My advice to you would be to spend
    > time listening to all that XM has to offer, and decide for yourself. I
    > would do it for 60s on 6 alone, but we have that at work already.
    >
    > --
    > A: Because it disturbs the logical flow of the message.
    > Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?
     
    Ryka, Oct 26, 2007
    #7
  8. Jack Gillis

    Meat Plow Guest

    On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 02:14:36 +0000, elaich wrote:

    > "Ryka" <Ryka@dancin'shoes.com> wrote in news:_P7Ui.176$Dr7.196683
    > @news.sisna.com:
    >
    >> Since XM is a three month
    >> trial I am wondering if it is worth $12.95 a month to sign up for it!
    >>

    >
    > You meant three day trial, right?
    >
    > XM sounds pretty good over DirectTV. My advice to you would be to spend
    > time listening to all that XM has to offer, and decide for yourself. I
    > would do it for 60s on 6 alone, but we have that at work already.


    It sounds better over DTV because it doesn't need to go through the same
    compression scheme as it does with a mobile unit.
     
    Meat Plow, Oct 26, 2007
    #8
  9. In article <>,
    "Jack Gillis" <> wrote:

    > Thank you, Meat Plow and others who replied. Turning down the treble did
    > help quite a bit. Unfortunately, I came from an old Buick which had a very
    > good Bose system without XM and I do miss it -- the Bose, not the Buick.


    There are better choices than Bose.. much cheaper ones too.

    But yes, XM sound quality is very disappointing. It actually sounded
    MUCH better when it started, but of course marketing kicks in and ruins
    everything with talk and sports channels. The CODEC that XM uses is
    designed to run efficiently at 64kbps. On most music channels, it is
    currently running somewhere between 32 and 40kbps. Also, it has what we
    call "fake highs". In other words, the way the codec works is that the
    highs are cut off and then artificially regenerated in the receiver by a
    noise generator! Add that to the horribly low bitrate, and ... well,
    that's what it sounds like. You will probably hear scratchy sounding
    distorted artifacts mostly in female vocals and trumpets, not to mention
    an overall lack of highs altogether. Since they use the noise generator
    so much, this also creates a weird s-spread sound as well. Listen to
    the channel "Laugh USA". You'll hear what I mean.

    If the reception is good, analog FM radio can have MUCH better sound
    quality - certainly way better than a 128kbps mp3.
     
    David Matthew Wood, Oct 26, 2007
    #9
  10. MUCH lower, I'm afraid. The CODEC that XM is using is made to run
    efficiently at 64kbps. Like I mentioned in my last post, the receiver
    also employs a noise generator, to artificially recreate the highs that
    are lost due to the compression.
    Now what makes this worse is that the music channels currently aren't
    even running that high! Some are now ranging from around 32-40kbps!

    > Jack,
    >
    >
    >
    > XM satellite radio utilizes a compression which makes the sound a bit more
    > dull compared to an FM station that has a strong signal. The XM signal is
    > currently sent in an variable rate compression equaling to a 96k MP3 stream.
    > For talk radio the stream from the satellites can downgrade to 48k.
    >
    >
    >
    > I believe the average FM radio sounds like a 128k - 192k MP3 stream which is
    > much clearer.
    >
    >
    >
    > I hope this answers your question!
    >
    >
    >
    > Del
    >
    >
    > "Jack Gillis" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the sound
    > > over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    > > characteristic of XM Radio?
    > >
    > >
    > > Thank you.
    > >
    > >
     
    David Matthew Wood, Oct 26, 2007
    #10
  11. Jack Gillis

    Old Gringo Guest

    On Or About Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:19:26 -0400, Without Any Hesitation
    Or Thinking Twice, Jack Gillis Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:

    > My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the sound
    > over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    > characteristic of XM Radio?
    >
    > Thank you.


    My neighbor has XM and a Delphi ghetto blaster, the sound is
    absolutely stunning. From low to high volume, no distortion what so
    ever, and the fidelity is exquisite. I'm picky. <g>
    --
    Just West Of Nowhere
    Enjoy Life And Live It To Its Fullest
    http://www.NuBoy-Industries.Com
    10/26/2007 9:24:32 AM CST
     
    Old Gringo, Oct 26, 2007
    #11
  12. In article <>,
    Old Gringo <> wrote:

    > On Or About Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:19:26 -0400, Without Any Hesitation
    > Or Thinking Twice, Jack Gillis Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    > wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:
    >
    > > My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the sound
    > > over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    > > characteristic of XM Radio?
    > >
    > > Thank you.

    >
    > My neighbor has XM and a Delphi ghetto blaster, the sound is
    > absolutely stunning. From low to high volume, no distortion what so
    > ever, and the fidelity is exquisite. I'm picky. <g>


    Listen to something else through your neighbor's "ghetto blaster", or
    better still, listen to XM through a good setup or even decent
    headphones. Then get back to us on what you think of XM's fidelity.

    Now I do subscribe to XM, and I like XM for some things - but sound
    quality is not one of them. There is very little (if any) detail in the
    highs whatsoever. In fact the highs that you are actually hearing, are
    artificially generated in the receiver itself, by a noise generator.
    Now if XM could only one day sound as good or even almost as good as FM
    radio, then I'd be happy.
     
    David Matthew Wood, Oct 27, 2007
    #12
  13. Jack Gillis

    Old Gringo Guest

    On Or About Sat, 27 Oct 2007 17:48:10 GMT, Without Any Hesitation Or
    Thinking Twice, David Matthew Wood Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:

    > In article <>,
    > Old Gringo <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Or About Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:19:26 -0400, Without Any Hesitation
    >> Or Thinking Twice, Jack Gillis Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    >> wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:
    >>
    >>> My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the sound
    >>> over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    >>> characteristic of XM Radio?
    >>>
    >>> Thank you.

    >>
    >> My neighbor has XM and a Delphi ghetto blaster, the sound is
    >> absolutely stunning. From low to high volume, no distortion what so
    >> ever, and the fidelity is exquisite. I'm picky. <g>

    >
    > Listen to something else through your neighbor's "ghetto blaster", or
    > better still, listen to XM through a good setup or even decent
    > headphones. Then get back to us on what you think of XM's fidelity.
    >
    > Now I do subscribe to XM, and I like XM for some things - but sound
    > quality is not one of them. There is very little (if any) detail in the
    > highs whatsoever. In fact the highs that you are actually hearing, are
    > artificially generated in the receiver itself, by a noise generator.
    > Now if XM could only one day sound as good or even almost as good as FM
    > radio, then I'd be happy.


    I have a B&O system in my home and still find the Delphi ghetto
    blaster remarkable for it's size. CD's sound good on it also.
    --
    Just West Of Nowhere
    Enjoy Life And Live It To Its Fullest
    http://www.NuBoy-Industries.Com
    10/27/2007 3:40:42 PM CST
     
    Old Gringo, Oct 27, 2007
    #13
  14. In article <>,
    Old Gringo <> wrote:

    > On Or About Sat, 27 Oct 2007 17:48:10 GMT, Without Any Hesitation Or
    > Thinking Twice, David Matthew Wood Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    > wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:
    >
    > > In article <>,
    > > Old Gringo <> wrote:
    > >
    > >> On Or About Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:19:26 -0400, Without Any Hesitation
    > >> Or Thinking Twice, Jack Gillis Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    > >> wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:
    > >>
    > >>> My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the
    > >>> sound
    > >>> over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    > >>> characteristic of XM Radio?
    > >>>
    > >>> Thank you.
    > >>
    > >> My neighbor has XM and a Delphi ghetto blaster, the sound is
    > >> absolutely stunning. From low to high volume, no distortion what so
    > >> ever, and the fidelity is exquisite. I'm picky. <g>

    > >
    > > Listen to something else through your neighbor's "ghetto blaster", or
    > > better still, listen to XM through a good setup or even decent
    > > headphones. Then get back to us on what you think of XM's fidelity.
    > >
    > > Now I do subscribe to XM, and I like XM for some things - but sound
    > > quality is not one of them. There is very little (if any) detail in the
    > > highs whatsoever. In fact the highs that you are actually hearing, are
    > > artificially generated in the receiver itself, by a noise generator.
    > > Now if XM could only one day sound as good or even almost as good as FM
    > > radio, then I'd be happy.

    >
    > I have a B&O system in my home and still find the Delphi ghetto
    > blaster remarkable for it's size. CD's sound good on it also.


    The ghetto blaster, sure. Some of those can sound quite good for their
    size, like you say. XM itself on the other hand....
     
    David Matthew Wood, Oct 28, 2007
    #14
  15. Jack Gillis

    Old Gringo Guest

    On Or About Sun, 28 Oct 2007 07:39:33 GMT, Without Any Hesitation Or
    Thinking Twice, David Matthew Wood Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:

    > In article <>,
    > Old Gringo <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Or About Sat, 27 Oct 2007 17:48:10 GMT, Without Any Hesitation Or
    >> Thinking Twice, David Matthew Wood Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    >> wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:
    >>
    >>> In article <>,
    >>> Old Gringo <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> On Or About Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:19:26 -0400, Without Any Hesitation
    >>>> Or Thinking Twice, Jack Gillis Stumbled Over To The Keyboard And
    >>>> wrote The Following In The 24hoursupport.helpdesk News Group:
    >>>>
    >>>>> My '07 Honda Accord came equipped with XM Radio. The quality of the
    >>>>> sound
    >>>>> over XM is quite noticeably worse than that of FM stations. Is this a
    >>>>> characteristic of XM Radio?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Thank you.
    >>>>
    >>>> My neighbor has XM and a Delphi ghetto blaster, the sound is
    >>>> absolutely stunning. From low to high volume, no distortion what so
    >>>> ever, and the fidelity is exquisite. I'm picky. <g>
    >>>
    >>> Listen to something else through your neighbor's "ghetto blaster", or
    >>> better still, listen to XM through a good setup or even decent
    >>> headphones. Then get back to us on what you think of XM's fidelity.
    >>>
    >>> Now I do subscribe to XM, and I like XM for some things - but sound
    >>> quality is not one of them. There is very little (if any) detail in the
    >>> highs whatsoever. In fact the highs that you are actually hearing, are
    >>> artificially generated in the receiver itself, by a noise generator.
    >>> Now if XM could only one day sound as good or even almost as good as FM
    >>> radio, then I'd be happy.

    >>
    >> I have a B&O system in my home and still find the Delphi ghetto
    >> blaster remarkable for it's size. CD's sound good on it also.

    >
    > The ghetto blaster, sure. Some of those can sound quite good for their
    > size, like you say. XM itself on the other hand....


    All I can say is, It's better than anything we had 70 years ago. :)
    --
    Just West Of Nowhere
    Enjoy Life And Live It To Its Fullest
    http://www.NuBoy-Industries.Com
    10/28/2007 11:44:25 AM CST
     
    Old Gringo, Oct 28, 2007
    #15

  16. > > The ghetto blaster, sure. Some of those can sound quite good for their
    > > size, like you say. XM itself on the other hand....

    >
    > All I can say is, It's better than anything we had 70 years ago. :)


    True... unfortunately, some of the best music was recorded on shellac. ;)
    (I'm a big fan of swing era big band music)
     
    David Matthew Wood, Oct 28, 2007
    #16
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