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What are dock & play satellite radios?

Satellite radio to go

Compact, lightweight, and versatile, Dock & Play satellite radios are the most popular options on the market for getting SiriusXM programming. With the help of accessory kits, they plug into and play through your car or home stereo. The biggest advantage of Dock & Play: you only have to pay one subscription fee to listen in both locations.

The Basics

A Dock & Play radio is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so it's easy to carry it around. You can play it through your car stereo, then take it inside and play it through your home stereo. In either location, the radio sits in a cradle, sometimes called a docking station; it's at the cradle that all connections, including power and signal, are made. The radio receives the satellite signal from an external antenna that plugs into the cradle. You use the controls on the radio to change channels, set up the system, etc.

When you buy a Dock & Play satellite radio, you have to make sure you have at least one of the following:

  • a car kit to play the radio in the car (many Dock & Play radios these days come with car kits);
  • a home kit to use it indoors;
  • a boombox to use either in home or outdoors (not all Dock & Play radios are compatible with boomboxes);

When you buy a Dock & Play satellite radio, you'll most likely pick up a car kit and a home kit, to take full advantage of the radio's capabilities. Boomboxes, when available, are great if you'd like to bring satellite radio along when you're at the beach or pre-gaming at a tailgate party.

  • Randall Clinton Sagstetter from HUFFMAN

    Posted on 12/16/2020

    I want a sirius radio package for camping or in the house. I already have a sirius radio in my truck. Do I need anything other than the SXSD2 and the ONYX plus? Do I need a home kit or anything else?

  • donald tremper from sidney, ny

    Posted on 8/11/2020

    dear sirs, does siriusxm have a portable radio that i can plug into power outlet in my nissan aux for speakers without installing anything? thank you

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 8/11/2020

    Donald, You have several options that will allow you to add SiriusXM satellite radio to your vehicle. 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.
  • Phillip from Batesville

    Posted on 4/25/2020

    Can I buy a stereo Bluetooth speaker to use in my home that will parr withSirius xm Dock & Play?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 4/27/2020

    Phillip, When you download the SiriusXM app, you'll be able to pair up and play your favorite shows through a regular Bluetooth speaker. You cal also go with one of the home kits discussed in the article.
  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/16/2018

    Herb, Not that we know of right now, but 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.

  • Herb from Jackson MI

    Posted on 4/15/2018

    Anything coming soon with a portable like the Onyx with Bluetooth that will connect with stock Honda audio systems? For some reason they did away with Aux/in jacks and all you have is USB option which I'm told by your techs won't work with my xm portables output jack. Seems like a portable xm radio with Bluetooth would be a hot seller.

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/15/2017

    Donna, Probably, but it depends on your plan. Of course, if one of those is a dock and play, you only have to pay one subscription fee to listen in your car and home. All you'll need is a home kit, and you're good to go. Give us a call and talk to an advisor. We'll help you get everything you need.

  • Donna K. Adams from Carmel

    Posted on 9/14/2017

    I pay for subscriptions for two cars. Do I have to pay for another if I get a home radio?

  • Deb from Littleton

    Posted on 8/21/2016

    Looking to use a sirius radio while camping Can I use it with a Bose speaker that is bluetooth?

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/22/2016

    Scott, I've sent your questions to our sales team for the best answer, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Scott

    Posted on 3/21/2016

    I have a 2013 Toyota Highlander with a factory radio and a 2006 Toyota Matrix with a Kenwood radio that is only about 3 years old with bluetooth and USB. I know the Highlander will support XM and, just to compare, I found someone that contracts for the dealership that could install it on just the Highlander for $460, parts and labor. I wanted to know what I would need to connect XM radio to both with a single subscription. I understand I would only be able to listen in only one vehicle at a time. Would I need an antenna for each car? Is there an antenna option that doesn't require being mounted outside the vehicle and routing the cable on the interior?

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