It was not long ago when satellite radio was a fancy feature you’d be lucky to have. Auxilary cords and streaming music from Pandora was not mainstream at all. Although today those things are by far the most economical ways to listen to music, there’s one BIG reason why satellite radio rock… it’s reception.
Unlike with using mobile data and FM radio, once reception is blocked… you’re out of luck. Satellite radio on the other hand, will most likely still have strong reception and give you the ability to listen to music while your phone or FM radio is not within range.
Most vehicle’s have SiriusXM radio compatibility built-in. However, for those times when your radio does NOT have those capabilities… buying an external unit will solve that problem. An external unit is usually not too high-tech but does one thing really well without letting you get distracted, letting you stream HD music directly from a satellite signal.
Typical cost for a monthly subscription with Sirius XM radio is around 15 to 18 dollars per month. To some reasonable, while to others costly. There’s definitely perks to be had when streaming satellite radio. It’s justifiable to spend that money if you spend a lot of time on the road.
Though every single radio we review below is made by SiriusXM, there’s different models that do better than others. Take a look!
The most basic satellite radio for cars you can probably get, is the Stratus 7 by SiriusXM. Costing just about 55 dollars for the unit, it’s the 2nd cheapest one you can get. Without the fancy colorful LCD screen, it does every part that you’d want. Store up to 10 of your favorite channels with a touch of a button. Check the weather and traffic with one touch access, lock and unlock channels for parental control, along with being able to tune-in to FM frequencies.
For a bang for the buck unit, SeriusXM radio’s Stratus 7 is excellent. A respectable rating of 4.1/5.0 stars is given to the Stratus 7 from over 180 user reviews.
4. SIRIUS ST4-TK1 Starmate 4 Plug-and-Play Satellite Radio
Coming in as our number 5 for best satellite radios for cars, is Sirius ST4-TK1 Starmate 4. Taking a more traditional look, it does a few things quite well. First off, it comes in a bundle pack which includes various things like remote, antenna, power cord, various clips, windshield mounts, and a few other things.
This unit decodes digital signal for more than 130 music, sports, and news stations. Game Alert allows you to get notifications when your favorite team is playing on Sirius. Also, built-in FM transmitter is included with excellent reception.
Not the cheapest unit, but that’s because this radio comes in a bundle pack. From over 70 user reviews, a 4 of 5 stars is given. Respectable for being number 5 in our list.
3. SIRIUS Sportster 5 Satellite Radio
Stepping it up with crystal clear LCD screen, is Sirius Sportster 5 satellite radio. Getting into the main features of this radio unit, you can program 30 preset favorite streams, as well as search by stream, artist name, song title, or category. Along with that, you can store your favorite songs and receive alerts if any SiriusXM radio station is playing them.
Rewind up to 60 minutes of live radio, pause, and replay. Receive alerts when your favorite team is playing on any given SiriusXM radio station. By far the best part about this satellite radio is the 2.7 inch LCD screen. It’s easy to read, displaying simultaneously name, number, category, artist name, song title, and time.
From over 130 user reviews and ratings, this satellite radio receives a respectable 4 of 5 stars.
2. SiriusXM Satellite Radio XEZ1V1 Onyx EZ
The XEZ1V1 Onyx radio unit, is a much cheaper version of other SiriusXM radios. Costing only bout 42 dollars for the entire radio unit, it’s bare-bone in terms of features. With that being said, the screen is a beautiful backlit blue which shows you everything you could possibly want from your satellite radio.
Installation is quite easy, with only a few cords to hook up like antenna, power cord, and auxiliary cord to your vehicles stereo system. You can browse a range of stations while still listening to your current radio station. Store up to 10 of your favorite channels for one-touch access.
Lastly, you can lock and unlock channels, check weather, traffic of any given city, and lastly switch over to ordinary FM radio that is built-in to the unit. From over 470 user reviews, it received a 4.1 of 5.0 stars. Exceptionally good from so many user reviews.
1. SiriusXM Satellite Radio SXPL1V1
We picked the SPXL1V1 Onyx Plus as the most bang for the buck satellite radio you can buy. We made that decision due to a few big factors which this radio has met. This radio has a crisp LCD screen, showing various text in bright vivid color. The buttons are easily reachable and selecting from one channel to another is simple. Probably the best aspect of this unit is the cost of about 75 dollars. Compare it to some units above, and you’ll see it easily matches if not outperforms in features.
Let’s get into some key features of this satellite radio. Store up to 20 of your favorite channels, pause, rewind, and replay live satellite radio (plus all your favorite channels). Get alerts of any of your favorite songs, artists, games, and scores.
Access traffic and weather data based on your selected city (with a press of a button). Tune into FM channels and even get connected to “SeriesXM Extra” channels. From nearly 600 user ratings, this radio receives a solid 4.1 of 5.0 stars.
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If satellite radio isn’t your thing, no worries. We’ve put together a great guide on picking the best aftermarket head unit. These things have so many features, and some have satellite radio already built-in. We recommend checking the guide out.