What do I need to get satellite radio?


Dave Delamere

Dave was born in Buffalo, NY, but spent the majority of his life in central and northern Virginia. He began his collegiate career at Virginia Tech, but completed my education with a degree in teaching from Radford University. His Crutchfield career began in 1997 as a Sales Advisor. His father had been a satisfied Crutchfield customer since the '80s, and when Dave saw the job opening, he knew it could be a good thing. In 2013, the Crutchfield creative staff grew tired of the corrections and suggestions Dave always threw their way, so they decided to give bring him on as a copywriter for the mobile electronics division.

When not dealing with these corrections and suggestions, Dave enjoys watching and playing ice hockey. Cooking intrigues him, although cleaning up after does not. Movies, music, and art take him away. Crime and forensic shows bring him back. History makes him pause. His interest in electronics stems from fond memories of making mix tapes from vinyl, radio, and the newest format at the time, the compact disc.

More from Dave Delamere

There are several options when it comes to choosing your satellite radio. What you need depends most on where you're primarily going to listen to it. You should take radio design and sound quality into consideration as well. Currently, satellite radios can be divided into three categories: dedicated, Dock & Play, and Internet-based.

Dedicated car and home radios

Dedicated car satellite radios work with in-dash car stereos only. A special antenna connects to it, and sits on the roof of the vehicle. Similarly, dedicated home satellite radios work only indoors. They connect to your home stereo system, and also use a special antenna, which usually needs to be mounted facing a window or outside.
siriusxm sxv300

Dedicated car satellite radios like the SiriusXM SXV300 keep a low profile.

Dock & Play radios

Dock & Play satellite radios are compact units that work with sets of accessories to play over both your car and home stereos. The advantage of a Dock & Play is you can transfer it from the car to your home stereo, and only pay one subscription. A Dock & Play radio will often also work with a compatible boombox.

To get satellite radio service with the dedicated or Dock & Play option, you'll need the following:

  • a satellite radio (also called a tuner or a receiver). The radio you get connects to and plays through your car or home stereo, or both, depending on the radio you select and accessories you get.
  • a satellite radio antenna (most radios include the antenna).
  • a subscription to the SiriusXM service.

XM Onyx EZ

Dock & Play radios like this Onyx Plus are extremely versatile.

Mobile or Internet-based radios

This is the latest option for getting satellite radio. With a computer or a network-capable product, like a Blu-ray player or television that has an Internet browser, you can use your high-speed Internet to get your SiriusXM programming.  You can also use a downloadable app that SiriusXM offers for tablets and smartphones, which lets you log into your account and enjoy your music on the move. When an Internet connection isn’t available, these devices will use the device's data plan. 

The advantage of this SiriusXM option is that you don’t have to use a separate antenna. You can also use it in your home, car, office, and as a portable option. Internet-based SiriusXM programming may not include some specialty programming that other options do, like live sports action, but does offer extra channels that aren't available on a lot of older satellite radios.

To get satellite radio service with Internet-based products, you'll need the following:

  • a computer, network-capable product, or a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone.
  • an app or Internet browser to access the SiriusXM service.  
  • a subscription to the service.
Sonos Play:3

Wireless music systems, like those from Sonos, let you listen to satellite radio just about everywhere.

  • Dave Atchison from Maryland

    Posted on 4/29/2015 12:13:55 PM

    I have a 2014 Jeep Wrangler with an in-dash (non-removable) Sirius radio that is up for renewal of service in about a month. What are my options for 'expanding' service to have Sirius satellite radio in my home? Do I need a separate subscription? Moving to Michigan from Maryland in 2-months if that makes any difference.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/29/2015 5:22:24 PM

    John, You can renew your existing SiriusXM subscription and still enjoy your favorite shows while you're settling into your new place (Good luck with the move, by the way!). SiriusXM is broadcast nationwide, so you'll be fine. To add the ability to listen at home, you can always add internet streaming to your subscription (for an additional $4/month). That would let you listen to satellite radio over any computer network or mobile device, anywhere. Another option is get a dock-and-play satellite radio, which you can then connect to your home stereo system. You can have SiriusXM add that unit to your current subscription plan (for an additional $9.99/month). If you have any questions, just contact one of our advisors via phone or chat, and they'll help you find exactly what you need.

  • Tim Gibbs from Arkansas

    Posted on 6/7/2015 5:16:41 PM

    I have a Sirius Ready tuner (Kenwood KMR-700U)in my boat-what do I need to connect to satellite radio?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/8/2015 10:46:09 AM

    Your Kenwood receiver is satellite radio-ready, so all you need to take advantage of that feature is a SiriusXM tuner and, of course, a subscription. SiriusXM is a very nice thing to have on a boat, so you're making a good call.

  • John Oliva from Tampa, Fl.

    Posted on 6/27/2015 6:31:05 PM

    I have a 2014 JAYCO MELBOURNE RV it came with a Clarion Stereo that performs all functions. cameras, Gps, CD player, etc. It has on the face that it is serius XM Ready, not. We have tried on numerous ocassions to activate and have been unable to do so. Just yesterday we were informed that we needed to purchase a receiver and antenna at a cost of several hundred dollars plus finding someone to install the needed equipment to make this Serius ready stereo work.. Is this the standard stuff that one must put up with? I have had cars that all you have to do is contact Serius and sign up for the service and you are done. What gives? How and where can I get straight answers. Serius Ready must mean nothing to the folks at Clarion.? Better yet, where can I find an installer?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/29/2015 10:21:25 AM

    John, Some cars come with built-in satellite radio tuners, so all you have to do is activate the subscription. That, alas, is not the case here. The "SiriusXM Ready" designation indicates that the receiver is compatible with a SiriusXM tuner -- once you acquire the tuner and sign up for a subscription.
    The good news is that there are better deals to be had on tuners than you've been told about so far. Once you have the tuner, installing it yourself is reasonably uncomplicated, or you can have a local car audio shop handle the work. If you want more details, just give us a call.

  • GRACI FINKLE from United States

    Posted on 7/2/2015 7:46:54 PM

    Once I have Sirius on my tablet, how do I listen in my vehicle?

  • Robert Ferency-Viars from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/3/2015 11:33:02 AM

    Graci, if your tablet has a data plan, the easiest thing to do is run a minijack cable from your tablet's headphone jack to your car stereo's aux input. If you don't have a data plan, then you need to buy a satellite radio for the car. That means either a portable dock-and-play option or a new satellite radio-ready stereo and the SiriusXM SXV300VI tuner. Contact us by phone, email, or chat if you need any help deciding!

  • carla from Edmonton

    Posted on 7/5/2015 12:26:50 PM

    I have a 1979 Mercedes with a analog factory fm stereo. Will i be able to receive a satellite signal.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/6/2015 10:05:27 AM

    Carla, Absolutely! A SiriusXM "Dock & Play" satellite radio with a wireless FM transmitter will work with any in-dash radio.

  • Mike from Nevada

    Posted on 7/13/2015 12:14:08 PM

    What if I only have a system in my golf cart that only has an amplifier and speakers with no receiver just an aux input? Any ideas on how to mount one of these dock and play units just to an Amp?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/13/2015 12:44:15 PM

    Mike, if you're looking to play SiriusXM content and you already have an account, the easiest thing would be to download the free SiriusXM app onto a smartphone or similar device and plug that into the amp using the cable that matches your amp's input. You should be able to stream SiriusXM content and listen to it over your golf cart speakers.

  • Gilbert rossie from Lilburn, Ga 30047

    Posted on 8/5/2015 4:57:28 PM

    I am interested in setting up outside satellite music. Sirus. For my outdoor fireplace and patio. Can I just purchase a satellite receiver from best buy? How would I set this up? Do speakers hook up to the satellite receiver? Or do I need a stereo also?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/6/2015 9:30:36 AM

    Gilbert, you can order everything you need from us. Give us a call at 1.888.955.6000. An advisor will be able to walk you through your options and find you a system that suits your needs. Plus, when you order from us, you'll get free lifetime tech support to help you with installation and any technical issues that may come up down the road.

  • Michelle from Rome, NY

    Posted on 8/11/2015 7:39:26 AM

    Hi, I would like a Sirius/ XM radio that I can use headphones with i.e., to walk or run with. What are my options?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/11/2015 12:04:08 PM

    Michelle, At the present time, there are no dedicated devices that offer that kind of portability. You can, however, download the SiriusXM app and listen on your smartphone.

  • Paris Smith from lagrange, nc

    Posted on 8/11/2015 10:51:43 PM

    I have a Kenwood satellite ready radio in my rig, it was already installed when I got the truck. What are my options to getting the sirius xm programed hooked up to start listening to satellite radio ?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/12/2015 9:35:34 AM

    Paris, All you need now is a tuner and a subscription. I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • jeanne moynagh from tavares

    Posted on 8/17/2015 4:38:41 PM

    does satellite radio offer various talk shows which are unavailably locally? What is necessary to install it in the house?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/18/2015 9:47:26 AM

    Jeanne, SiriusXM offers lots of talk radio programming, in addition to news and music. If you want to get a subscription and listen at home, check out our article on home satellite radios.

  • Joe from Hicksville

    Posted on 8/23/2015 9:45:18 AM

    I have a 2014 jeep wrangler I have sirusxm through the factory stereo if I change the stereo to one that is sirusxm ready do I still need to buy a sirusxm tuner for it

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/24/2015 10:14:59 AM

    Joe, Yes, when you replace your Wrangler's stock radio, you'll lose the factory satellite radio. You'll need a tuner and a subscription to listen to satellite radio on your new SiriusXM-ready receiver.

  • John from Charleston sc

    Posted on 10/23/2015 6:26:10 PM

    I have a boat with a fixed in place stereo system like a home that can accept blue tooth from a smart phone to play iTunes or music library. Can I set up a sirius kit 20 feet away by a window to allow good satellite reception then bluetooth the music from the siruis receiver to my stereo bluetooth receiver? Trying not to cut holes to run antenna wire to the fixed stereo which is not by a window. Basically can a sirius receiver bluetooth the music out to a blue tooth reciever. Thank You

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/26/2015 11:27:15 AM

    John, SiriusXM offers a downloadable app for tablets and smartphones. The app (using your device's data plan) will stream programming from the internet, then you can send it to your receiver over the Bluetooth connection. All you need to do is log into your account (subscription required, of course, get the app, and make sure you have a Bluetooth-friendly receiver.

  • Posy Ryan from Boca Raton, FL

    Posted on 11/3/2015 9:44:46 AM

    I have a 6yr old HP laptop and I finally got WiFi. I also have a BOSE WAVE Music CD player/ radio that is not WiFi enabled. I'd like to know if there is a way for me to stream satellite radio, including Sirius from the laptop to the BOSE. ( I love it's sound and it is perfectly positioned for me to hear it from 3 rooms in my house). I don't want to use my iPhone for this purpose- I don't want to tie it up. Also, will the sound quality on the Bose be affected by how well the laptop streams and by the fact that while I have a high speed internet connection, it is not the 'highest' speed. Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/3/2015 1:25:47 PM

    Posy, If the Wave® radio isn't WiFi or Bluetooth®-enabled (Some are, and we have them if you're interested...), you won't be able to stream music through it. If it has an AUX-in connection, you could run a mini-jack cable from your laptop to the Bose®, though, or you could invest in a set of quality computer speakers for the laptop. In terms of the quality of your connection, that's hard to predict from here, but I'd suggest that you test it out before making any big investments in this project. Hope that helps!

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