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What are dock & play satellite radios?

Satellite radio to go

Matt Holliday was one of Crutchfield's ace car enthusiasts for several years. He brought a lifetime of knowledge and experience to our team. He has since left the company to join the family business and pursue other interests.

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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 go outdoors; they're especially fun at places like the beach, or at tailgate parties.

  • Patrick Rwehumbiza from Tanzania

    Posted on 6/28/2015 2:49:23 PM

    If I buy Dock & Pay radio,how am I going to pay subscription?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/29/2015 9:57:59 AM

    Patrick, Subscriptions are handled directly by SiriusXM. They'll take care of activation, billing, etc.

  • Amy

    Posted on 11/26/2015 1:29:55 PM

    Can the Dock and Play radio be transferred between vehicles (home and work)?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/27/2015 10:21:17 AM

    Amy, yes, that's the fun of dock and play radios. As long as you have compatible kits for your home and vehicle, you should be able to use your satellite radio receiver in both places.

  • Ashley Schroeder from Gibsonburg

    Posted on 12/5/2015 8:37:43 PM

    I purchased a radio for my husband's work truck because they do not have a radio in them at all but I'm wondering what speaker i should get for it? Thanks!

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/7/2015 8:56:06 AM

    Ashley, I've forwarded your question to our sales team for the best answer. They'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • joe from cambridge

    Posted on 1/30/2016 6:59:38 PM

    Does anyone know of a power convertor to allow my starmate 8 car kit to play in my workshop....(12 to 110v)

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/1/2016 9:39:35 AM

    Joe, Not sure about converters, but the SiriusXM SXDH3 home kit is another way to enjoy satellite radio programming in your office.

  • Matt Sauer

    Posted on 2/1/2016 12:25:49 PM

    Are the dock and play radios suitable for a marine application? I would like to transfer between truck and boat.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/2/2016 9:08:26 AM

    Matt, While they're not technically marine-rated, dock and play radios are frequently moved from truck to boat and back. You'll want to make sure you dock it in a location that's protected from the elements. And if you spend a lot of time at speed, you'll want to make sure it's mounted securely.

  • jan holland from columbia,sc

    Posted on 2/12/2016 8:54:07 AM

    I am looking for a Sirius xm onyx for my truck and at home. My home stereo has xm on it. What do I need to get for both. Can I buy the Sirius xm onyx with car kit and a indoor antenna or do I need the car kit and the home kit. thanks jan

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/12/2016 1:34:42 PM

    Jan, We can help you with that. I've sent your question 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 6:35:19 PM

    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?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/22/2016 10:31:53 AM

    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.

  • Deb from Littleton

    Posted on 8/21/2016 7:23:59 PM

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

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