Sirius Satellite Radio
I've been a huge fan of car audio ever since I tried (semi-successfully) to build my own custom truck speaker enclosures as a 16-year-old. I joined the Crutchfield car writing team way back in February of the year 2000, and proceeded over the years to write about nearly every product category we carry. In 2007, I assumed my current role of Car A/V Editor for our catalog, a position that helps me channel my passions for both music and driving.
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Heads up!Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.
Check out the SiriusXM channel guide
Music is streaming down from three satellites in constant orbit over the lower 48 states. For the price of one CD each month, Sirius sends you:
- nearly 1 million songs
- over 130 channels of music, news, sports, and entertainment
- play-by-play sports coverage including exclusive NFL coverage
Why do we need Sirius?
Way back in the 1950s, folks gathered in front of black and white TVs and chose from only three or four channels of entertainment. But cable TV and Digital Satellite TV improved the picture quality, and increased the number of channels available.
The state of radio today is similar to the early days of TV, with little choice and a limited reception area. But just as cable and DSS rocked the TV world, Sirius Satellite Radio is poised to revolutionize your radio entertainment options.
What's on the playlist?
Sirius offers a Select plan for $12.95 a month plus a $1.40 music royalty fee, for a total of $14.35 (plus a $14.99 activation fee).* The Premier plan ($16.95 a month, plus a $1.40 monthly music royalty fee) adds popular XM channels, including Major League Baseball. You'll get over 130 channels of programming, including more than 60 original music channels of rock, jazz, rap, country, Latin, blues, classical, techno, and comedy, hosted by DJs who know and love the music.* Since all of the more than 60 music channels are commercial-free, Sirius DJs can forget about being salespeople and focus on the music. You'll hear your favorite songs in every genre, as well as songs you've never heard. Enjoy remote broadcasts and in-studio performances from a wide variety of artists visiting one of the live performance capitals of the world — New York City.
You'll also receive over 50 world-class sports, news, and entertainment channels, from names like Howard Stern, CNBC, CNN, Speedvision, House of Blues, the NFL, NASCAR® and others. As the official satellite radio provider and sponsor of the NFL, you can listen to live football games on Sirius. Subscribers also have access to complete play-by-play coverage of Major League Baseball's Divisional Series, League Championship Series, and World Series on ESPN Radio throughout the post-season. Plus, you can cash in on sports programming for NBA basketball games, soccer matches, motorsports, and more. Check out the live sports schedules at Sirius to make sure you catch the games you want to hear.
Canadian listeners get 109 channels, some of which are produced in Canada. Service is $14.99 a month, plus an initial activation fee ($20 by phone, $15 by Internet).
And, as a Sirius subscriber, you can receive unlimited online commercial-free music streaming at sirius.com for an additional $2.99 a month (or $12.95 as a standalone plan) — great for your home or office.
With headquarters and studios located at Rockefeller Center, NY, Sirius has positioned itself squarely in the middle of perhaps the biggest entertainment capital of the world. From there, Sirius uplinks to three communications satellites that travel inclined, elliptical orbits for complete coverage across the continental United States.
The signal is then beamed down to a small rooftop antenna and tuner in your home or vehicle. You get the largest assortment of entertainment to ever hit your radio.
Note: Satellite radio service is available only within the lower 48 states and Canada — not available in Hawaii or U.S. territories. Limited service is available in Alaska.
With more subscribers signing up every day, Sirius is now offering a "Preferred Plan" for multiple subscriptions. Sign up for the initial subscription, and add another subscription for just $8.99 plus a $0.97 music royalty fee for a total of $9.96.
With reception up to 200 miles offshore, boat owners have discovered that Sirius makes a great cruising companion. Now, take advantage of Sirius' Snowbird policy. When you store your boat at the end of the season, call Sirius customer service and deactivate your service for the winter. Reactivate your subscription within 6 months, and forget the standard $15 reactivation charge.
The future of satellite radio
The merger is now official. The new company is called SiriusXM Satellite Radio. They've recently consolidated their channel lineups, so channel numbers are the same whether you have a Sirius or XM radio. Check out the new channel lineup for more info.
A note to Canadian satellite radio users: there have been no plans announced for a merger between Sirius' and XM's respective Canadian divisions.
Learn more about the offerings from Sirius and XM in our article Everything You Need to Know About Satellite Radio.
*Sirius receiver/installation costs and other fees and taxes are not included in the subscription fee, which is subject to change. Subscriptions are subject to the terms of the Sirius subscription agreement. NASCAR (R) is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc.