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What do I need to get satellite radio?

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 his 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

  • Robert Ferency-Viars from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/3/2015

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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!

  • Katie Hampton from fort payne

    Posted on 1/10/2016

    My office at work is all interior walls with no windows. Is there anyway to set up a home system?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/11/2016

    Katie, It'll be challenging without a window, but if you have a SiriusXM subscription, you have options. SiriusXM offers a downloadable app for tablets and smartphones, which lets you log into your account and enjoy your music wherever you are. When an Internet connection isn't available, these devices will use the device's data plan. You can also listen using your desktop or laptop.

  • Rita Montague from Burson

    Posted on 2/5/2016

    Used to be I could connect my docked radio to one radio and also hear it from another radio in my house. Now that has been disabled either by SiriusXM or the FCC. Not sure who made it happen. I've read where I can connect the two with an FM booster, I think? Is that right? I've read up on the FM boosters (if I'm getting the name right) and found they are difficult to set to the correct frequency and can also interfere with neighbors. I wonder if there is a way I can do this safely. I don't want to have to buy another radio and another subscription just to do this. It was such a nice feature. Thanks.

  • Rita Montague from Burson

    Posted on 2/5/2016

    This is an addendum to my last post. The word I wanted was FM transmitter not booster. Thanks.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/8/2016

    Rita, It's sort of hard to say why that doesn't work anymore. Did you change the radio in the other room, or move either that radio or the satellite radio to a different location? Either of those could've messed up the reception. If you can boost the FM transmission coming from the satellite radio, then yes, that could work. Don't worry about the neighbors, because it's unlikely that any commercial booster is going to be that powerful. You could also use SiriusXM's Internet radio option to stream into any computer or mobile device (phone, tablet) in your house.

  • Shirley from Tulsa, OK

    Posted on 3/13/2016

    Is it possible to connect and listen to my Sirius XM radio through my Bose Wave music system?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/14/2016

    Shirley, If your Wave works with Bluetooth, you could use the SiriusXM app on your phone and stream the content. Adapters are available for select models if you're interested in adding that capability.

  • Elaine Buchanan from Henrico

    Posted on 3/18/2016

    Hi, I have a 2012 Toyota Yaris that is satellite ready. I don't want to spend more then about 250 including installation as I am only planning on keeping car for a year or so. What would I need? Trying to do research, a dock and play, which includes receiver and a antennae and a installation kit, is that correct?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/20/2016

    Elaine, A dock and play is one way to go, but there are also dedicated satellite radio tuners. It just depends on what works best for you. 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.

  • Rick Rylance from Rapid City SD

    Posted on 3/26/2016

    I purchase an Onyx plus which I want to use in my truck and boat. Do I need a seprate antenna for the boat or does the Onyx have a build in antenna.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/28/2016

    Rock, The Onyx Plus does not have a built-in antenna, so you will need a marine-rated satellite radio antenna. 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.

  • Julian jackson from houston

    Posted on 5/9/2016

    I currently have sirius in my 08 dodge ram. What type of new radio is required to maintain satellite play? a radio that is sarellite ready or would i need additional equipment?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/10/2016

    Julian, When you replace the factory receiver, make sure you choose a new one that's SiriusXM Ready. You'll also need a SiriusXM tuner. Give us a call and we can help you find everything you need.

  • Amanda from Boston

    Posted on 6/4/2016

    I want t get wireless outdood speakers but i want to be able to listen to xm radio on them. I have a subscription in my car but what do i need to get it in my home and what speakers would be compatable?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/6/2016

    Amanda, 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.

  • Natalie from shortsville

    Posted on 7/14/2016

    I just ordered a "home" kit and am I able to use any speakers with my new radio?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/15/2016

    Natalie, The speakers you're using with your home receiver right now will work just fine.

  • Casey from Huntsville, TX

    Posted on 9/16/2016

    I have a 2006 Cadillac DTS with Sirius radio. I have been getting a lot of static and signal problems lately. Is there a satellite module I could replace in the radio with a new one, or would I have to replace the entire factory radio?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/19/2016

    Casey, That might just be a connection issue, but it's hard to say from here. I'll forward this to our sales team, and they'll be in touch via email soon.

  • joe couch from massillon

    Posted on 9/27/2016

    I have a 2014 subaru forester, am fm cd player not sirius ready. What is the best route for me to have sirius installed in my vehicle?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/28/2016

    Joe, If you're keeping the stock radio, your best bet is a dock and play satellite radio .

  • david from south hadley

    Posted on 10/21/2016

    I just bought a hot tub that has bluetooth sound system. I do have the xm app installed on my computer. What would be the best way to listen to xm through the tubs system?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/21/2016

    David, Nice addition! You have some options here, so it might be good to talk to one of our expert advisors. I'll forward this along and someone will be in touch with you via email shortly.

  • Haley from Albany

    Posted on 11/17/2016

    We are looking to get Satellite radio in our office. It sounds like to do that we need to have an antenna and receiver of a sort. As with internet installation, is this all stuff that Sirius radio will come and install, or do we just need the hardware and a subscription?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/18/2016

    Haley, Once you have hardware and a subscription, you can set everything up yourself. And we can offer plenty of advice, of course. I'll forward this to our sales team, and someone will contact you via email shortly. You're really going to like having SiriusXM in the office, and we're happy to help!

  • Amethyst

    Posted on 11/24/2016

    A family member wants a portable Sirius Xm radio for Christmas to use for camping. Is there anything I could get them to use for that?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/28/2016

    Amethyst, There are indeed. I'll forward this to our sales team and someone will contact you via email shortly.

  • Penny from Valley Head

    Posted on 12/2/2016

    I have a ihome ID38 unit in my home. Can I hook up my Sirius XEZ1H1 unit to it?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/5/2016

    Penny, If you have a home docking kit for your Onyx, you should be able to connect that to the iHome unit's line-in outlet.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/5/2016

    Penny, If you have a home docking kit for your Onyx, you should be able to connect that to the iHome unit's line-in outlet. You'll need to acquire a mini cable if you don't already have one.

  • Paul from Tucson

    Posted on 12/14/2016

    I have a 2007 Ford F150. When I bought the truck it came with a subscription to Sirius. They have enticed me back but cannot recieve a signal despite all the refreshing they do. Would my remote start or my HUM interfer with getting a signal. I defaults to "sat fault"

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/16/2016

    Paul, This could be a lot of things, but it's probably a software thing. I looked around online and found references to a service bulletin about this, so contact SiriusXM and tell them what's going on. There's probably an update available that can solve the problem. Hope that helps!

  • Lois from Fort Washington

    Posted on 12/29/2016

    I am interested in a Sirius XM radio to use at home- something portable to move to different rooms. I listen in the car and am missing not having one at home. We have older equipment so I prefer not having to connect it to an existing unit. If there is one, how does setup work? Thank you!

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/30/2016

    Lois, It all depends on the equipment you have, of course, but there are some options, including listening online or using the SiriusXM app. Give us a call and talk to one of our experts. I'm sure we can help you find a solution that works.

  • Paul Parker from Trenton mich

    Posted on 12/30/2016

    Is there an omnidirectional antenna for a home kit? I have onyx plus. Can a car omnidirectional antenna be used for onyx plus using the home docking station?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/2/2017

    Paul, If you're already using an Onyx Plus in your car, you can enjoy it inside with a SiriusXM home kit (#220SXDH3). That kit comes with an antenna and everything else you need. Another option is the SiriusXM SXSD2 Portable Speaker Dock (#220SXSD2).

  • Billy Williams jr from Los angeles

    Posted on 1/9/2017

    I have a 2013 VW Jetta that's equipped with a stock radio/single cd. I want to add-on a sirius satellite radio that I bought when satellite radio was first introduce for $650 with a life time subscription. I am upgrading my radio to a Kenwood DNN991. I am replacing the factory button-like antenna on rear of the car's roof with a Shark Fin Radio Roof Antenna 3C0 035 507 T. I do not want to use the magnetic button like antenna that has to be stuck to the roof. The shark fin antenna has 3 wire with European connectors. Which features can I connect to the antenna? fm/am or gps? or satellite? or all three?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/10/2017

    Billy, The shark fin will only receive satellite radio signals. You still need to use the small magnetic antenna that comes with the Kenwood stereo for GPS reception. The good news there is that the GPS antenna is so sensitive that you can often mount it inside the car, say on the dashboard using a piece of double-sided tape. If you ever want to upgrade that satellite radio to a more modern (and compact) version, call SiriusXM and ask about transferring your lifetime subscription to a new unit. The SXV300V1 tuner . is much smaller and it plugs right into your Kenwood. But you'll have to give up your stylish shark fin. The old antennas aren't compatible with the new tuners.

  • Mike from Janesville

    Posted on 1/11/2017

    Do you need a siriusxm speaker/docking station or can you use an aux cable to run to any set of speakers to be able to use the portable radio?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/13/2017

    Mike, With the right accessories, you can play satellite radio through your home stereo. Give us a call and we'll help you get the gear you need.

  • David from Naramata

    Posted on 2/15/2017

    Hi. I have a Delphi dock and play xm radio. Can I connect the antenna from this unit directly to a Siriusxm compatible car stereo or do I have to buy the svx300 antenna? Thank you for your time.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/16/2017

    David, Connecting the Delphi tuner to a SiriusXM compatible car stereo with an aux input should work just fine.

  • Harold Stebbins from Mustang, Ok

    Posted on 3/20/2017

    I am installing an aftermarket fairing on my 09 Yamaha Roadliner 1900. I have a Kenwood KMR-D362BT unit and SXV300 Kit. My question is Will i also need an antenna for my fm reception or does the one that came with SXV300 work for both??

  • Lisa from Spokane

    Posted on 4/1/2017

    Hi, I have search everywhere for the Satellite radio part for a 2004 Nissan Pathfinder LE Platinum Edition. It has this radio in it and according to the book, satellite capable with the part. No one seems to be able to tell me what part I need. Even Nissan can't give me an answer. Bose on page 152 pic 4-22. on the downloaded version of the manual. Thank you

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/3/2017

    Lisa, There are probably easier ways to add satellite radio to your car. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors about the various ways to get SiriusXM in your Pathfinder.

  • patrick cooper from Marysville

    Posted on 4/19/2017

    I recently bought a Rockford PMX-3 Stereo from you for my Honda Side by Side. I want to be able to listen to satellite radio. What do I need to get other than the Subscription. I am looking for the smallest/most portable equipment for this application? Do I just need an antenna or do I need a Tuner as well?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/20/2017

    Patrick, You will need a SiriusXM tuner, and we'd suggest a SXV300V1. If you have any questions, just give us a call and talk to one of our expert advisors.

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