XM vs. Sirius

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Matt Whitlock
XM vs. Sirius

Okay... There hasn't been a really good Tech War in a while, so I thought it was about time we got a debate going.

If I were to buy into satellite radio right now, which would be the better choice? What would compell me to pick one over the other? Which service is really better?

Ron Repking (not verified)
Baseball season is upon us. 

Baseball season is upon us.  Can only get Baseball on XM.  If you're a football fan, Sirius is the place to be. I'm not a Howard Stern fan, so that doesn't sway me to Sirius in any way.

Chief Gizmateer
Ron is right on the money...

Ron is right on the money... XM and Sirius have different offerings so you need to just figure out what's important for you... football or baseball or nascar or NPR or Howard or...

I've written a review (and updated the review twice in the past two and a half years!). You can view the full review here:


There are two links that you'll want to check out regarding the programming.

XM: http://www.xmradio.com/programming/fu...

Sirius: http://www.sirius.com/ChannelGuide

The most important quote in my review is "
While Sirius outright won more categories we judged satellite radio on, you should choose
the satellite provider that provides you either the music or sports that interest you!"

I'm not sure you can drum up a war as people should pick whichever satellite radio has the programming that interests them!

Steven Jones (not verified)
I have been a loyal XM

I have been a loyal XM subscriber for more than a year now but what I find most interesting is that all XM and Sirius listeners are equally loyal to the service they first sign up with.  I don't think I have ever met someone who switched.  And with so much overlap in non-exclusive content like MLB or Stern, there really isn't any compelling reason to switch.

Another interesting observation I've made is that the hardware isn't really making a huge difference in people's decisions. I personally think XM is way out in front of Sirius when it comes to features but most subscribers don't seem to comparison shop across the two services.   And even for me there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to upgrade my gear.

Anyone see it differently?



I tried switching to Sirius for three months. Because I mostly listen to techno(and they have more techno stations) it seemed like the way to go. However, they didn't play very good songs, XM plays much better techno songs. Plus, I've always loved Watercolors (Channel 72?) on XM. The Jazz stations on Sirius don't compare. 

From a portable perspective as well, I also prefer Pioneer's Inno unit and Delphi's xm2go over Sirius' only competitor-the S50 (The S50 has many freeze up issues and other problems).

Steven Jones (not verified)
Jexx, good post, first time I

Jexx, good post, first time I had heard hardware as part of the decision although from everything I've read, XM team has a huge technological lead on Sirius.

Do you know of a side-by-side channel comparison anywhere?   Where you could find your fav genres and do a taste test?

Yeah, and I would have to

Yeah, and I would have to agree that many people don't seem to care what brand the hardware is. Audiovox seems to be popular for Sirius receivers, and the build quality is really quite poor. It reminds me of cable receivers-you can't really pick a brand, you just get what the company offers. For this reason, it seems like a lot of cable receivers aren't built very well. I hope that doesn't happen to satellite receivers.

It also seems like the main reason one will pick XM or Sirius is strictly because of the talk stations as mentioned. That's the reason my father has Sirius-he listens to Bloomberg all the time.

The best way, in my opinion, to sample them is each offer (if I remember correctly) a free 3 day trial online. I wish I could help you find a side by side channel listing, but this is the best I can find: http://www.xmradio.com/programming/fu...


EDIT: Hm, I can't seem to get the Sirius channel guide to work correctly, just google 'sirius channel list' and it's the first link. 


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