Satellite radio: Sirius -v- XM

I’ve got the itch to make the jump to satellite radio so I thought I’d get some input from the most knowledgeable, well-spoken, and down right sexy group of people I know.

XM or Sirius?

Which ones have you had good experience with? Bad?

I know there’s talk right now about a merger which could make the whole question moot, but I’m planning on doing this in the next few months so the potential merger is irrelevent right now.

I have no interest in talk radio or sports. Howard Stern dropping dead tonight wouldn’t even make a blip on the radar.

Right now the most significant selling point that I’ve found is Sirius’ lifetime subscription for $500. I realize this isn’t a true lifetime subscription since it can only be transferred to three new receivers. But that still comes out to four receivers for a total of 12 to 20 years service depending on how long I go between upgrades.

Any thoughts?

I have XM and love it. My choice between the two systems came down to things you say you don’t care about: sports and Howard Stern. I picked XM because they broadcast every MLB game played, and they don’t carry Stern.

The best advice is to gove each a listen. Go to their web pages and see what programming appeals to you on each. Then make an informed choice from there.

I would never have had satellite radio at all if it weren’t for Stern being on Sirius. I have been a fan since the mid-80’s so it was never a question - I was going where he went. Sirius’s service is fine; we’ve had no problems. They carry the sports XM doesn’t, if that’s what you’re looking for. I see they have NFL, and I know XM has MLB. I pay monthly rather than the lifetime membership. My husband is leery of that kind of cash layout. We pay about $20 for service to two receivers. Music wise it’s all the same. They have Martha Stewart if you’re into that. They’re about to debut a Grateful Dead channel which will probably be on in my husband’s car a lot and mine never.

Sirius has CBC Radio 3. End of contest. :slight_smile:

I also have XM. I’ve heard that the music programming is better on Sirius, but I’ve never listened to it, so I don’t really know. You should be able to get a free online trial if you go to their websites. I don’t think every channel will be available but it should be a good sample size.

You may want to visit XM’s Test Drive website where you can enter an artist and it will tell you which stations play their music.

And if the merger goes through there’s talk about a firmware update that will allow existing radios to get the other companies programming. Don’t know how true this is though or if there will be limitation on the number of channels…

According to XM’s website, after the XM/Sirius merger is completed, you will be able to use your current receiver regardless of what service you subscribe to now.

I have XM for baseball. My friend has Sirius for Stern. Check the lineups for both services and see what appeals to you. That’s what I did and figured I wanted baseball more than Howard.

Of course, when the merger happens, some channels will stay, some will probably go away due to redundancy.

If I weren’t already a subscriber, I’d probably wait till the merger is complete and then decide if it’s worth it.

I’m going to wait until the merger either goes through or fails. My dilemma is that I like Opie & Anthony (on XM) but would like the NFL coverage (on Sirius). I did the free trial on my PC for XM and liked what I heard, and a few of my neighbors have Sirius and I have also liked what I heard on that service as well. If the merger goes through and both sides programming were combined, it would be a no-brainer to me.

I’ve had both services for extended periods of time. I had XM from since 2 weeks after they started, until late 2006. I’ve had Sirius for over a year (for a time I had each service in a different car).

My reasons for switching are fairly specific to me. XM got rid of 2 of my three favorite channels (Special X and XM Music Lab, a progressive rock channel which also started playing jam bands before leaving the airwaves). I switched partly out of anger over this. Also, Sirius started airing At The Races, a daily horse racing show.

Musically, I think XM is superior. Their playlists are deeper, while Sirius tends to replay songs fairly often. Sirius has more rock channels.

If someone (not you, apparently) has a sports preference (Major League Baseball for XM, NFL and NASCAR for Sirius) or must listen to Howard Stern or Opie n’ Anthony, that could be the deal maker. There are also some differences throughout the lineups, like in the comedy channels (Sirius has stuff like Blue Collar comedy; XM has an all-Canadian comedy channel).

Both are way better than regular radio, IMHO. Also note the possible merger, long thought unlikely, is not quite dead yet: merger alive?

The question has been asked many times on the satellite radio message boards.

XM Fan

XM 411

Sirius Backstage

I’ve also had both. Sirius tends to be more hits based as well as having an emphasis on rock. The smooth jazz station will play Steely Dan, for instance.

XM tends to have deeper playlists. This can be good or bad depending on your taste in music. XM can play some fairly obscure songs.

Sirius tends to have more DJ interaction, being more like “real” radio. XM has lots of jockless stations which have the ipod on shuffle feel to them.

I only have satellite radio for Stern. When he goes, I’ll cancel.

The music stations are like regular radio without the ads meaning the majority of songs that they play aren’t the ones I want to hear. There are lots and lots of stations, but I can’t find even one that plays music that I like. And the DJ’s talk too much.

When Howard goes I will figure out a way to listen to my ipod in my truck.

We have Sirius at work. VERY short rotation. Fun at first. Gets old quick.

I bought Sirius only for Howard, just to let you know.

Anyways, on the Stern show they were discussing what the pricing would be like after the merger. The plan is that you can get everything for the same $13 you pay right now (no mention of what channels will get combined into one) or there will be groupings of 50 channels set by Sirius/XM that will go for $7 per month. Any additional channel will be any extra .25.

Unfortunately, for me, the two Howard channels are not going to be part of any of the groups of 50 and cannot be added for 25 cents. So if you want Howard you will be paying the full $13.

Don’t quote me on all this, it’s all from memory.

I have Sirius. Husband got it for me for Christmas a couple of years ago, and I love love love it. I have CBC! I have Iceberg!

Looks like I’ll be going with Sirius then. Thanks everyone!

In case anyone wonders what my thought process was on the matter.

XM Pros:
‘Deeper’ playlists. Longer time before repitition.
XM is the music provider for DirecTV so I already know what they play.

None really.

Sirius Pros:
‘Lifetime’ membership.
Better rock selection.

Short rotation.
No one has expressed any problems with the services so I’m guessing they’re both reasonably solid.

And with the apparent upcoming merger, rotation and content won’t matter, they’ll both be the same.

Which leaves the only point being the lifetime subscription.

Which brings me to deciding on a receiver, but I’ll save that for another thread if I find myself undecided.

Wow, I thought XM had short rotation, I’d hate to hear Sirius, it sounds almost as bad as terrestrial radio! Fred, for instance, in the span of 4 hours, replayed a song by an artist they’d already played twice: granted, not the same song, but still.