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      06-11-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
J38
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Wow Satellite Radio is TERRIBLE on Logic 7.

Subject: 06 330i w/ Logic 7, Sat Radio, Sirius 60 day trial.

Initially I was thrilled to have access to ESPN Radio and the music stations that stay put on 3hr road trips. I read reviews that said there was some reverb in talk radio, but no big deal.

I noticed almost immediately that the sound quality was off, but I didn't have much to compare it to, as I was trying to listen to ESPN on the way home, and the local FM stations do local sports.

This morning, I was listening to Lithium, and Pearl Jam - Even Flow was on. IT SOUNDED LIKE CRAP! Just to confirm, the CD that I have in my HU actually has Even Flow on it, I switched sources and it was night and freaking day. I mean it sounded like Pearl Jam being played through a speaker phone with a paper towel roll held up to your ear on Satellite. (Yes, I have adjusted my L7 eq using another poster's "perfect L7 settings" as a baseline.)

It was garbage.

I switched to ESPN on Satellite, then back to FM 99.9 the Fan, which plays Mike and Mike in the morning, again, night and day.

Bottom line, don't spend any time wishing you had Sat Radio, because it sucks out loud.
Definitely do not spend any money on it.
Definitely do not put your CC# in for the free trial.

I'm actually regretting putting in my GV phone number, as the quality is so bad I don't even feel like complaining when they call me to try to sell me the service renewal.

That's right, I have Sat Radio FOR FREE, and I won't use it, i.e., I'll be listening to my own music or local FM radio instead, except in the rare afternoon I am caught in traffic after 5PM and want to listen to ATH.

I'm far from an untrained ear, but damn this is like listening to radio in a cave through a walkie-talkie.

Just awful.
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      06-11-2013, 06:58 AM   #2
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I agree. I cancelled it because the sound quality was terrible. 1/2 the channels sounded "tinny" like I was listening to it in a can lol.
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      06-11-2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake@PTF View Post
I agree. I cancelled it because the sound quality was terrible. 1/2 the channels sounded "tinny" like I was listening to it in a can lol.
Yessssss. I can't even believe this was allowed to be an option, much less one that people are dying to throw $500 (or $1000) at.

It sounds like blown headphones half plugged into a loose jack. If I had a set of speakers that ever sounded like this I would throw them in the trash and kick the garbage man's ass if he didn't haul them away.
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      06-11-2013, 11:33 AM   #4
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Just one word. Compression. If you use xm or Sirius for just talk its ok. Music is crap. You are better off streaming from your phone pandora or something
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      06-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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Talk may be just "ok".

As I mentioned, Mike and Mike sounded like someone was synthesizing the voices using a Jamaican reggae tub.

This would be some serious, for emergency use only stuff. Like your wife is making you drive out of town during the playoffs and you must hear sports, etc.
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      06-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
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satellite radio was crap on my acuras, vw, honda, bmw. It's not the logic 7.
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      06-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #7
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its compression, has nothing to do with L7 or any vehicle in particular. Cramming hundreds of audio feeds on to a satellite takes a lot of compression and the better your stereo, the more likely you are to hear it. I personally stayed away from MP3s for A LONG time because of this (you will find low bitrate MP3s sound a lot like sat radio). Only when the music biz and itunes went to higher bit rates could I adopt digital music....
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      06-11-2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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Yeah I agree that it would be crap on anything. Honestly I expected some defense of the sound quality, but all I have gotten is agreement.

I also believe the bit about compression. I've seen it with Netflix "1080" streams and HD broadcasts that won't touch OTA, much less BluRay, and I've now seen it with Sat Radio. Come to think of it, I remember the old days of low-bitrate MP3s sounding similar, but not quite as bad as, the crap that is coming out of the Satellite Radio.
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      06-13-2013, 10:28 AM   #9
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Unfortunately, the satellite radio companies are in a catch-22 (telecom major here). They were only given so much bandwidth to send their streams, and they needed to appeal to a large audience to sustain your business. So they have every radio station under the sun to appeal to everyone, but with the limited bandwidth, they had to start turning down the bandwidth in order to fit all of those streams into their narrow bandwidth allotment. So they take a radio station and instead of broadcasting 128kbps "CD quality" audio, they can only send 96kbps. On talk radio, its down to 56kbps or 48kbps depending on their ratings. Satellite radio could sound great, but the FCC gave them limited bandwidth (not technically the FCC's fault, only so much to go around), and they have to appeal to so many people they need 150 channels to do it.
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      06-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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I agree with this..the satellite radio quality is CRAP. I just listen to the HD FM stations or music from my iPhone. It's weird because I had XM on my Lexus IS350 and the quality was PERFECT..same w/ the Infiniti G37S. -__-
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      06-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb335 View Post
its compression, has nothing to do with L7 or any vehicle in particular. Cramming hundreds of audio feeds on to a satellite takes a lot of compression and the better your stereo, the more likely you are to hear it. I personally stayed away from MP3s for A LONG time because of this (you will find low bitrate MP3s sound a lot like sat radio). Only when the music biz and itunes went to higher bit rates could I adopt digital music....
That's exactly what I was thinking when I read the original post, the description reminded me of a bad mp3. Glad I didnt even think about getting sat radio. I have mostly lossless apple files on my Iphone and they are converted from ape or flac files on my PC. Sure I can make a decent mp3 or compressed aac file when I want to, but lossless sounds best.

Another thing I have been avoiding is audio over bluetooth. But I have never listened to it yet and it would be very convenient not having to plug my iphone in everytime I get into the car.
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      06-13-2013, 12:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptcrunch View Post
Unfortunately, the satellite radio companies are in a catch-22 (telecom major here). They were only given so much bandwidth to send their streams, and they needed to appeal to a large audience to sustain your business. So they have every radio station under the sun to appeal to everyone, but with the limited bandwidth, they had to start turning down the bandwidth in order to fit all of those streams into their narrow bandwidth allotment. So they take a radio station and instead of broadcasting 128kbps "CD quality" audio, they can only send 96kbps. On talk radio, its down to 56kbps or 48kbps depending on their ratings. Satellite radio could sound great, but the FCC gave them limited bandwidth (not technically the FCC's fault, only so much to go around), and they have to appeal to so many people they need 150 channels to do it.
Yep...this is it exactly. Also the SQ has changed over time as they have varied the bitrate over time and by station.

In their defense....some of the descriptions here are a bit hyperbolic...the SQ is not great, but in most cases its not as bad as some of the above descriptions, and it depends on the channel as well, in general, the more popular the station the better it sounds, my wife listens to nothing but sat radio in her X5 but she listens to all the "top 40" type pop and rock stations, and they mostly sound fine, dig a little deeper into the channel selection though and the quality often takes a nose dive.
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      06-13-2013, 02:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb335 View Post
In their defense....some of the descriptions here are a bit hyperbolic...the SQ is not great, but damn what a long sentence! -J
A bit hyperbolic. I'll give you that, but not by much.

It is literally the worst sounding audio I can remember. The closest I can remember is when I was breaking in a new set of ear buds and they weren't plugged all the way in. Some channels/frequencies were muted, and that STILL sounded better than this.

There are complaints all over the net of the reverb effect over Sat Radio. I appreciate your point, and you are right, half of what I said was meant to be a comical description, but honestly, it sounds like farting in a bathtub full of water.

It is truly the worst. I challenge anyone to name a music source that sounds worse. I'd put up two soup cans and a metal clothesline against Sat Radio any day... Oops there I go again.


Saying that is sounds like shit just isn't descriptive enough for something of this quality... And to think I was considering shopping around eBay for the parts to add it (before I found out that it had it already installed).
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      06-13-2013, 02:19 PM   #14
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haha, fair enough!
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      06-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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Heh.

On a serious note, the reason I posted about it is because of the outrageous cost to add this to our cars. Also, I had the Sat TV expectation of clear digital signal.

If I had paid $500-$1000 or whatever to have this added to my car, I would be livid. I incorrectly expected it to be of higher or at least equal quality to broadcast. I only hope that anyone out there considering adding Sat reads this thread.
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      06-13-2013, 03:41 PM   #16
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FYI, Im driving my wife's above mentioned X5 today instead of my 335.....so while I was driving around at lunch I tuned over to sat radio, turned it up and listened to a bunch of stations....hhhmmm....not good....worse than it used to be I'd say. In general I would say it sounded like a <128kbps pretty much all the time, some stations have that "shimmery" underwater kind of sound that really low bitrate mp3s have. It did vary by station with the top of the dial stations sounding ok, but the more obscure stations sounding fairly bad, and the talk much worse than I remember from my sat radio days. Still fine for my wife, she doesnt care, but kinda rough on my ears.... back to my ipod, ripped all my library at 320kbps.

The cost is just how it is.....the BMW modules are expensive, part of it is because they are old (vehicle design life cycles take a long time so the parts were engineered a long time ago and in the meantime price and size go down a lot). We got a new bluetooth module in the X5 earlier this week to replace a defective one, If I had paid for it, it would have been about $500 for the part, pretty steep considering a cheap chinese bluetooth module can be had in an earpiece for $20 these days....but the module i got is probably a foot long, all metal, weighs a few pounds, and looks like it came out of a tank.....as does the sat radio module for these cars!

Last edited by jeffb335; 06-13-2013 at 04:02 PM.
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      05-29-2014, 09:28 AM   #17
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Throwback Thursday haha.

I was discussing Sat radio today with a colleague who is upgrading his HU and showed him this thread. It gave me a laugh, even a year later.
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