Electronic Design

Satellite Radio: Test Report

I just finished testing a Kenwood home satellite radio with the Sirius service. What do I think? Awesome. I had to put the antenna outside, away from all of the trees in my yard, but the reception and sound is excellent. It doesn't even sound like radio. My wife and I have always been avid radio fans, from our high school AM radio days in the back seat of a '57 Chevy to today's stereo FM. I still regularly listen to AM talk radio and news while my wife enjoys FM music.

On the highway, we used to play CDs, switch between AM and FM, or just listen to what we can get on a long trip. Sirius has really changed things. With 100 channels of radio available, it's very difficult to choose. There are multiple varieties of country, rock, jazz, and my favorite, progressive adult alternative... whatever that is. And, of course, the home units come with a remote that lets you surf just like TV. My wife hates this, but it may be my favorite feature because I can switch from country to soft rock or oldies in seconds and continuously listen to just what I like. What's not to like? Now I hog both the TV and the Sirius remote controls.

I suspect that this whole thing is addictive, so caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) to all of you. If you think that this is just another radio, don't knock it until you've tried it. If you're a music lover, you will be hooked.

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