Car audio - best SQ satellite or streaming service

Looking to add decent SQ audio for the car. FM radio sounds horrible these days and I’d rather have a service of some kind with channels to choose from rather than lug CD’s around. I’ve read where Sirius is pretty badly compressed and may not even sound better than FM radio. So who’s got the best SQ?

SiriusXM is dreadful. FM is far better, at least as to classical offerings. (I do not listen to pop and cannot judge.)

SiriusXM came on each of my current cars with a free multi-month subscription. I never used it in any of them due to the horrible sound.

Disturbingly, rumor has been the service devotes more bandwidth to classical programming as its listeners are more picky as to accurate sound, and salsa and similar offerings also gets more due to the complexity of reproducing the multiple layers of percussion.

I’m with Elk. I’m not sure if the sound quality has worsened over the years or if each subsequent car has made it more obvious (I now have a Burmester system in an S-class).

I listen primarily to acoustic jazz, and piano is unlistenable. They also claim to be commercial free, but that’s misleading. They have loads of commercials, all for themselves. It’s nice to be able to listen to home-town sports wherever I may be, but it’s not worth the dismal SQ for music. On the rare occasion I put on FM radio in the car, it’s vastly better than SiriusXM.

OK…thanks guys. After doing a little more research it looks like maybe a streaming service via my phone might be the best option. Tidal, Spotify, Google? Also looking at upgraded the car speakers. The local car stereo shop seemed to be pushing a Hertz brand. Any thoughts? Probably not wanting to spend more than $1200 or so though. It’s an '07 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited with 6 speakers I think, with an aftermarket Kenwood tuner/amp.

I forgot how awful piano is on SiriusFM.

Hertz is fine, ask if they have Audison - that’s the better line from the same company.

AudioFrog is another option if you can find a dealer.

Sat radio is 96kbps, I wouldn’t recommend Sat radio and expensive speakers. Audison Bit Play is a SSD system for car around $600 to $800. You can then send optical to Audison Processor.

@robwilgus - My Z06 came with WiFi and I was streaming for a bit… like Pandora for basic streaming, Tidal is good too… however, switched to just use my DAP with 400GB of hi res files and BT connection; SQ is great. They are right about SiriusFM… never have spent a penny, in addition, never used it in a rent a car either… ears bleed… Hertz are good speakers. My Deuce Coupe system has Stage 4 head unit, Brax amps, and Brax Matrix speakers.

What do you use as your DAP?

@robwilgus - I have a Pioneer XDP-100R and Questyle QPR2. I use the Pioneer XDP-100R for the Z06 because it has WiFi & BT capability. I use the QPR2 (not WiFi or BT) for my Focal Utopia headphones in my office because I like the balanced output and better SQ from the QPR2 DAP. Either DAP is amazing. I also use the XDP-100R when I am listening on the enclosed glass porch with my Bose portable system w/ remote control… that DAP is more for on the go… I use it when washing the car, out in the back yard, on a walk… the Bose is very portable and sounds amazing for essentially a remote speaker… options are very important with this full contact audio sport… :slight_smile:

OK … thanks! In the meantime I actually figured out how connect my phone to my car stereo via bluetooth and listen to Radio Paradise. I hate cell phones and just have one for emergencies and up until today didn’t even know how to access the internet and download an app. Pretty sad for an ex-IT guy…but then again I’ve been retired for 13 years…and like I said…I hate cell phones and never took the time to figure them out :^ /

@robwilgus - all good - I use to use my phone for Pandora in the car/hiking till the company banned the use and removed the app on the upgraded phone. When I retire I will get a flip phone. I have a message machine I never listen to and if I can’t identify you on the phone I don’t pick it up. I find all of this connectedness so disconnecting cause you are running from being saturated by invading sales machines…

Radio Paradise is a pretty good station. Try JB Radio 2, the SQ (16/192) is amazing. I love that station for how great it sounds.

Just be wary of the data usage on your phone if you have a limit

Thanks…I’ll check it out.

Yeah, I checked already. We share a plan with my daughter and her husband and with a 5GB limit nobody uses anywhere near that. We all use laptops/desktops for the most part.

The 192kHz stream Richard posted burns about 4Mb/s. That 5GB will be gone in short order, ~3 hours, if I did my math correctly, regardless best to stick with 320Kbps streams especially in the car where you’ll be hard pressed to tell the difference and save your data

Yes…I agree. Thanks.