Satellite radio gets broadcast using technology located thousands of miles above the earth. Because of this, signals reach greater distances than terrestrial radio. As a listener, this means you get to enjoy a greater range of stations.
And because it travels further, your signal is less likely to break when listening at home or over a long journey. To enjoy being on the road – or wherever you are— installing the best satellite radio is a wise decision. To help you choose the best satellite radio for your vehicle, at home or the office, here are our top picks:
The Best Satellite Radio Reviews 2020
1. SiriusXM SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus Satellite Radio with Vehicle Kit
- Enjoy SiriusXM through your vehicle's in-dash audio system* with controls on the color touchscreen display; Connectors: 1/8 in (3.5 mm) stereo male to 1/8 in (3.5 mm) stereo male
- To Get Three Months Free Service You Must Subscribe to the “All Access” package. Provide your radio ID when activating and mention “Never Miss a Beat.” A $15 Activation fee and credit card are required for this offer.
- Subscription sold separately by SiriusXM. Channel lineup varies based on subscription package; Create your own music channel that’s a blend of channels with TuneMix.
Offering satellite radio experiences across multiple settings, SiriusXM is America’s leading satellite radio brand. This Onyx Plus radio is designed for the ultimate experience inside your vehicle. Plus, it fits neatly into your in-dash audio system.
This system includes everything you need to get set up in your vehicle. We found the detailed instructions made it really easy to install, in around 15 minutes. We plugged it into our aux input and set it up on the air vent with little trouble. It sounded awesome!
If you’re a new subscriber to XM, it also comes with 3 months of SiriusXM’s satellite and streaming service. This is accessed by subscribing to the ‘’All Access” package, which we set up super-quickly.
It has an impressive 20 pre-set channels with access to hundreds of satellite stations. We found this was plenty. It’s a nice touch that any pre-set channels tune in at the start of the tracks. We also liked the replay function which made it great for going back to any music or dialogue. You can also record the audio.
It’s a smart and modern looking piece of kit. It has a bright screen that’s easy to read. Operability and functionality are excellent – it’s super easy to navigate and understand.
The only snag was the three cables that come with it. It was a challenge to try to fit them somewhere inconspicuous. The antenna wire, especially, was difficult to run from the back to the front, but this is a common issue.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll need the additional kit if you want it to work in the home.
This is an impressive looking – and sounding – quality satellite radio from SiriusXM. It takes no time at all to set up and is a delight to use. It could be a good all-rounder for new or more seasoned listeners.
- Very easy set up inside the vehicle
- Free, limited time satellite radio and streaming service for any new subscribers
- State-of-the-art digital features
- Looks modern and great sitting on the dash
- Amazing functionality and operability
- Cumbersome cables were a little tricky to install
- Only for use in your car or vehicle
2. SiriusXM SXEZR1H1 Onyx EZR Satellite Radio with Home Kit
- Subscription sold separately by SiriusXM. Channel lineup varies based on subscription package.
- Get 3 Months Free Satellite and Streaming Service with subscription. Mention “Never Miss a Beat” when you call to activate. A $15 activation fee and credit card are require.
- The “All Access” subscription package is SiriusXM’s best programming package with 150+ channels, including both Satellite and Streaming service.
This is Sirius’ ‘Ultimate experience at home’ plug-and-play, featuring a home dock and indoor/outdoor antenna to enjoy the best satellite radio. It sits neatly on your home-powered speakers or can be wired up to your car if required. You can also get a free “All Access” subscription for 3 months.
It has quite a large 3.2” display which makes it easy to read. We also found it very intuitive. Even though it’s black and white, the screen is really high-definition. There’s also a split screen, which we found great when navigating between preset channels.
The installation couldn’t be easier. At least, setting it up at home was simple and quick. It worked exactly as we expected it to.
It also seemed to deliver an excellent reception and sound. The receiver worked perfectly and we found no issues, cuts or static coming through at all. It got up to loud volumes.
As mentioned earlier, there are some preset channels included – up to ten – and the split-screen mode is perfect to navigate. There is also a SiriusXM feature ‘TuneMix’ which we found pretty cool. You set different channels to run from one, so it toggles between songs. This made it seem like the radio knew exactly our taste.
We did have some problems installing the magnetic antenna. It seemed a little on the fragile side.
Because it’s used in the home, it might also be helpful to have a sleep timer function which isn’t included. This is a wish-list feature though!
Overall, this is a product that gets pretty close to living up to its claim of the ultimate experience. At least, for home use we found this was a smart looking product that delivered great sound.
- Great looking home fitted satellite radio that sits well on your own system
- Simple installation
- Excellent reception and sound
- 10 preset channels and good features including ‘TuneMix’
- Easy to use B&W high-fidelity screen, with spit screen feature
- Magnetic antenna a little on the flimsy side
- Sleep-timer function would help for use at home
3. SiriusXM GDI-SXTTR2 Sound Station – Internet radio
- Access Sirius live news, Talk, sports, weather, and music channels, personalized channels and on demand show. A SiriusXM Streaming Subscription or All Access Subscription Plan are required for this radio. Subscription sold separately by SiriusXM.
- Personalize favorite music channels with mix, and save up to 10 Channel presets for easy access
- Pause, rewind and replay live radio, or if you miss a show access the start now function on select channels, even listen to on demand shows
Here’s a great internet-radio option for your home that’s versatile to use in your office or any workplace too. It’s a large, solid box-system designed to sit on any table top or surface. You can use it to access Sirius live, and a SiriusXM streaming or All access plan is needed.
It has a large LCD color display and the graphics are high-density. The brightness and color-sharpness are also powerful, making it an attractive feature in a great overall design. You also get the album or track cover art displayed which we thought was cool!
Let’s be clear – thanks to a larger speaker, the quality of the sound is extremely good. We found it could fill up a whole room easily, even at lower volume settings. This could be great for working in your garage or outhouse. This machine is only for listening to SiriusXM, but there is an option to listen through other sources too.
There are 10 preset favorite buttons and really simple to use dials. Other great features include an in-built antenna, which made it look really clean and neat.
You also get a remote control, which was a nice touch when we set me up in our larger kitchen/seating area. There is also the option to use headphones though, so good for all uses.
Overall, this was an easy system to set up. However, it took longer to connect to our Sirius account than some of the others.
While the LCD screen is solid, it’s also extremely bright. For a bedroom or darkened room this could prove a problem, but may not be a concern for everyone.
This is a solid, single-purpose unit to use in areas where you need to fill a room. Bright screen, easy to use dials and remote control makes it a potential all rounder for larger spaces.
- Versatile in home, office, outhouse or workplace settings
- Speaker large enough to pump out a great volume
- Looks neat and tidy with in-build antenna
- Nice extra features like remote control and headphone socket
- Large LCD screen showing music cover art
- LCD screen is pretty bright
- Took a little longer to set up but not a huge concern
4. SiriusXM- XEZ1H1 Onyx EZ Satellite Radio with Home Kit- Black
- Enjoy SiriusXM at home or in the office.
- Easy-to-read blue display allows you to view artist name, song or program title and channel information at the same time.
- Browse what's playing on other channels while listening to the current one, Store up to 10 of your favorite channels for one-touch access.
Yet again, Sirius delivers a great quality portable satellite radio receiver at a decent price. This one is really inexpensive and can be used at home, office or in your vehicle. It comes as a smaller size and has a blue pixelated screen.
This thing is super-simple and easy to use. You get 10 presets which is certainly enough to get started. In fact, our sense was this is a great way to start out listening to SiriusXM, to see how you like it.
This seems to be a great value purchase for what you get – a solid and good looking system at a good price. There is an FM transmitter built in, which is a great alternative option. The feature we liked the most is the chance to see what’s playing on other stations while you’re browsing. This way you can make an informed choice without affecting the current station.
It has an aux input so it is also very easy to install. It didn’t take us long to get it set up in the car and try it out at home.
Most importantly, the sound on this is great!
After setting up, we did find some connections seemed a little loose. We also found the antenna seemed to wobble a little at times.
There also didn’t seem to be a way to turn off the blue screen. Having this option may be better for those who may not enjoy the brightness of it. This is a pretty minor issue though.
To summarize, this is a cool-blue, great value product that could be suitable for new listeners to SiriusXM satellite radio. The blue screen gives you greater visibility of the display, and the chance to see what’s playing on other stations. Small and effective.
- Small and simple blue screen unit, good for new entrants
- Easy to install
- Great value SiriusXM for home or vehicle
- Chance to seeing what’s featured on other stations before switching
- Overall sound quality is good
- Connection to antenna seemed a little shaky
- Blue screen could be too bright for some
5. SIRIUS Sportster 5 Satellite Radio Receiver with Vehicle Kit
Built for sports fans, this model from Sirius is an advanced satellite receiver for home or car use. It has a color display, easy to navigate dial and keypad and all the features you need to enjoy sports.
With 30 presets, this offers an excellent range of access to music, entertainment and of course sports. 130 music channels are open to you, in addition to 65 channels for sports, or weather updates. Sirius is the official radio partner of the NFL, NASCAR and NBA which may appeal to a lot of sports fans. This model will give you tracked scores and game updates automatically.
The most striking thing we found about this one is the color display. It’s certainly big enough to get the updates you need on artists and songs, and doesn’t glare or feel bright. It has a vibrant and attractive look.
For a premium-quality radio, this was very easy to install. It is also very easy to use. Also, the sound of this radio is awesome. We liked that you can pause and fast forward through commercials.
It did come with a remote control which is definitely a great addition. It did just seem to be a little on the small side. It could benefit from a backlight too.
There was a minor issue with the antenna being delicate to handle, but we resolved that pretty easily.
If you’re a sports fan, you may want to consider the benefit of tracking the scores of your favorite teams. This has a solid sound output, an attractive color screen and is very easy to use. It comes with plenty of channels and could be a great addition to your car or home.
- Automatically tracks sports game updates
- Large and vibrant color screen
- Impressive range of channels, with 30 presets
- Easy to install and use, with remote control
- Sounds great, with option to forward through commercials
- Antenna seemed fragile
- Remote control is very small
6. Delphi SkyFi2 XM Satellite Radio Receiver and Car Kit
This is Delphi’s satellite radio for installing in your vehicle. It receives an XM satellite radio signal of up to 150 channels. It’s a plug-and-play that works with a car kit. It includes a cassette adaptor, but also is for use in home or boombox.
It has a pretty large display with pixel text with a channel dial. This one also comes with 30 presets, which is a lot more than we’ve seen on other models. Plenty of choice here!
What we really loved was the remote-control feature. This saves the effort of moving to the screen to navigate the radio and is a lot easier to use when at home. When you do use the screen to move through channels, we found the menu to be easy to navigate.
Another nice touch is the opportunity to catch any missed songs or programs with the replay feature. There’s nothing better than being able to rewind your favorite tracks to hear them again!
There’s also a tune alert that you can set up to make sure you catch it on whichever channel it’s playing.
Installation was pretty simple here. It took 20 minutes. Just make sure you connect it to the antenna correctly.
Also, because of an older-style display, it can sometimes be harder to see what’s coming up next. This is especially difficult at night, where we also noticed the buttons don’t illuminate.
This is a great plug-and-play for receiving XM radio. It’s a straightforward approach that may not be the most modern, but has some excellent features. These include the ability to pause and reply tracks. Worth considering for music lovers.
- XM receiving car or vehicle radio
- 30 preset channels to get the best music, sports or entertainment
- Remote control feature was great
- Simple set up
- You can replay songs easily and line up alerts when your favorites come up
- Pixel display means seeing this at night may be difficult
- Buttons don’t light up
7. Audiovox SIR-PNP3 Sirius Satellite Radio Receiver
Another versatile satellite radio receiver, this plug-and-play Audiovox one receives Sirius. It can be used in the car or in the home or boombox. It’s a tuner that’ll give you over 120 stations. Just hook it up to the right docking system and you’re away.
We found this unit to be on the smaller size of things. This is pretty helpful if you’re short on space in your vehicle. It measured 4.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches.
This one also offers 30 presets, which is pretty cool. It means we were able to get the best of what Sirius radio has to offer. It also has a wireless remote control that takes two batteries. This can help for use in a home set up.
The feature we liked the most was the ‘sports zone’, which is obviously perfect for sports fans. This means you get sports scores updates without tuning out of your broadcast – it displays them on screen without interruption. Plus, if you do want to check out the game you can hit a button and Sirius will take you there.
Another cool feature is being able to adjust the brightness of the screen. This wasn’t a feature we found on other models so worth bearing in mind if you have sensitive eyes.
We also liked the alarm, snooze and auto-off functions. These enable you to pre-set it, either at home or in the car.
This unit may be a little out of date in terms of technology. It has been available to buy for a long time. However, it still offers a solid experience for Sirius fans.
Overall, this is a solid Sirius satellite radio receiver. It’s small enough not to take up too much space on your dashboard or home system. It sounds great and offers 30 preset stations.
- Smaller size, nice addition to your dash or home system
- Choice of stations and presets
- Great for sports fans who want updates on the games
- Wireless remote control for use at home
- Lots of great features including screen brightness dimmer
- An old favorite – there is newer technology available
What to Consider When Buying a Satellite Radio?
Satellite radios offer broadcast signals covering long-distances, making it easy to stay tuned into your favorite station for longer. A key difference in satellite radio broadcasts – beyond the benefit of more channels – is that most stations won’t play commercials. This is offset, however, by the need to sign up to a satellite broadcast service subscription. You’ll need to factor in this cost, along with any additional kit needed to set up with.
So, if you’re unsure between FM/AM, internet or DAB digital ratio, know that satellite offers a broader range of channels. And because of satellite technology, you’ll also maintain a connection to your station for longer.
When it comes to investing in kit, think about where you’ll most often listen. Will it be in the car, at home, in your office? You want to choose the right unit and subscription to get set up for satellite radio.
This guide aims to do that, so let’s get into it:
These popular satellite radio receivers bring a complete and compact listening experience on one device. Offering a range of functions and preset programming, they are an easy way to plug-in to an existing stereo system. They’re also portable, so can be used either in your home or in your vehicle. They can even plug into a boombox.
Because they’re a go-to choice for consumers, we’ve looked at a few of these in our review section. Bear in mind that you will need to set these up with a range of accessories. For example, you’ll need an appropriate docking station. You’ll also need an antenna. Also, consider the extra cables or mounting kit you need to listen through your home or in-car stereo system. Or both!
If you do make the investment, remember you’ll need to add in the cost of a monthly subscription. An advantage to this is that—whichever number of devices you have—you only have to pay for one subscription.
In-dash satellite radio receivers
If you’re committed to using your satellite radio only for driving, in-dash systems are worth considering.
They’ll work through your car stereo, sometime wirelessly or using FM radio. Many will be hard wired into your dashboard.
You won’t need a docking station, like a plug-and-play, but you will probably have to get a tuner. Also, in general, you’ll need to install far fewer wires. You can also use any existing system controls to tune in, rather than through a separate unit.
Connecting to your satellite subscription is made easier with internet radio technology. All you’ll need is a high-speed internet connection and an app or browser to tune into XM or Sirius.
An advantage of this is not needing an antenna, which you would need with a plug-in receiver. Internet radios are also a good option to consider if you just want to listen at home. They usually come as a powerful, single unit, so work nicely in bigger spaces.
Handheld satellite radio receivers
If you prefer a portable radio to take wherever you like, consider a handheld. These could be a good option for listening through headphones, or for taking on journeys.
With a vast memory in the internal hardrive, they can store a lot of programed channels. These could be a really great option to consider for travelers or outbound adventurers.
Don’t overlook the additional equipment you may need:
- Home or car kits – Some plug-and-play get packaged with the appropriate kits for home or car. Or you can purchase both separately. Kits will usually include a docking station, a mounting bracket, antenna and cables.
- Satellite radio antennas
- Satellite radio mounts
- Adapters – For cassette decks, cigarette lighters
- Cables – For connecting up to existing systems, or a new set
And make sure you pick features that are right for you:
- Entertainment:If you want a complete package of sports, weather, news and music, look for a larger range of channels.
- Features: Maybe you want a bright screen you can read well? Or perhaps having a remote control is more useful.
- Portability: Plug and plays give a good option to use both indoors and in your car.
Getting your hands on the best satellite radio need not be complicated. It’s all about where you want to listen!
From our selection, the clear winner is the iriusXM SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus Satellite Radio with Vehicle Kit . We’ve judged this based on a range of factors.
Firstly, it’s super versatile both for in car dash and home stereo. Secondly, it offers the ultimate experience in sound. We found it very easy to set up and navigate. It also has great features – we loved ‘TuneMix’ – as well as a remote control.
Factoring in the cost, this one is certainly worth considering.