What Do I Need For Portable Satellite Radio?
When you begin to use satellite radio, you are probably going to want to have access to it in your home, your car, and many other locations. The best way to achieve this is to have a truly portable audio system that gives you this flexibility. And also, you are going to be paying for the subscription to satellite radio, so to get the most use of this investment, you probably won't want to have it limited to just your home or your car.
With satellite radio, you need:
- Equipment that will allow you to access to a specific satellite radio system
- A subscription to a satellite radio service
Each satellite radio system - XM Radio or Sirius - has equipment that is exclusive for their programming. Changing to a different system requires purchasing new equipment, so it is important to select the best system to start. See our section on finding out which system is best for you.
Plug and Play:
For portable satellite radio, there are several systems to choose from. Both Sirius and XM Radio offer multiple 'plug and play' units. These systems typically are made up of a receiver and one or more docking stations.
The satellite radio receiver is a small piece of equipment, about the size of a typical remote control, which provides all of the functionality needed to use the system. This unit also has a display panel. The small size is an advantage for portability, but makes the display area fairly limited.
The docking station is a kit that is installed in your automobile or in your home. For the home, they are easy to set up - no more difficult than any other home entertainment component. You then are able to use you current home system and speakers to listen to radio.
For your car, it is best to have a professional install the equipment. Typical installation costs less than $100.
Once installed, you then take the receiver and plug it into which ever system you are interested in using. It truly is 'plug and play'.
Another alternative is purchasing a 'boom-box' docking station. There are both XM Radio and Sirius boom box units (such as the Sirius Sportster Boom Box) available. This is a unit that has speakers built-in and all you do is plug the receiver into the unit for use. This format provides you the most versatile system for enjoying satellite radio.
Personal Satellite Radio:
For the most portable XM Radio, there are now a few receivers on the market that are about the size of an IPod and offer everything you need to listen to satellite radio. The XM portable satellite radio receivers are call XM2GO. This is the ultimate in portable audio for anyone with a subscription to a satellite radio service.