Making a daily commute doesn’t have to be boring. The best satellite radio allows you endless entertainment while you’re on the road. With hundreds of channels and programs to choose from, most of which are commercial free, you’ll never be bored while driving.
It’s difficult to choose the best satellite radio, so we reviewed dozens of satellite radios to find the best of the best. We looked at factors such as ratings from retailers, customer reviews, ease of use, functionality and more. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated satellite radios for you.
Our top-pick is the SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus. This versatile streaming satellite stereo takes first place on our list for several reasons. It comes with a ton of cutting-edge features, offers the greatest subscription packages on the market, and even allows you to connect with compatible home-stereo systems. News, sports, music, talk radio, you name it and the Onyx Plus provides you with endless hours of commercial-free listening.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Satellite Radios
|Best Overall||SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus||4.1|
|Runner Up||JVC KD-R690S||4.0|
|Best Budget Buy||SiriusXM SXEZR1V1 Onyx EZR||4.0|
|Best Portable Satellite Radio||SiriusXM SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus||3.5|
|Best Touchscreen Satellite Radio||Kenwood DDX25BT||3.8|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Top Pick: SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus Satellite Radio
One of the most stylish satellite radios on the market is the diverse SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus. It provides connectivity to the stereo and speakers in your car as well as your home. You’ll enjoy a superior audio experience listening to your favorite content every time you drive. Advanced features allow you to store up to 20 of your favorite smart channels as well. Even more, another significant advantage is that you can also save the live satellite radio feed.
TuneStart and TuneMix are two of the most significant features. TuneStart will let you start the song right from the beginning while using TuneMix; you can create your own, personalized channel by mingling your favorite channels. Furthermore, artists and song alerts are shown on a big display so that you never miss info regarding your favorite sport or artist. You will also enjoy the XTRA channels which provide even more music, sports, and entertainment.
The one-touch jump lets you switch between weather and traffic news for any city, there is also a go back feature. A remote control is provided as well, with it you control the unit no matter what seat your in. A 1-year subscription is required to listen to the radio at home, the office, or in multiple vehicles.
SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus Key Features:
- Comes with “All Access” package including both Satellite and Streaming service
- Ability to save up to 20 preset channels
- Create your own unique blend of channels rolled into one
- Superior controllability via remote control
- TuneStart features allow you to start from the beginning of live tracks
Our Runner Up Pick: JVC KD-R690S
JVC’s KD-R690S is a fully-featured Satellite receiver. It has the full support of a USB port that will never let you miss a single beat. That said, connecting your Android Smartphone or iPhone to the stereo via the USB port provides you immense flexibility. The stereo has a simple build, offering tone-control with bright lighting for its crisp display. It also comes with a wireless remote control so you can access the stereo even from the backseat.
The bandwidth, center, and levels are easily adjustable with its parametric EQ. There are 13 presets including Hip-Hop, Jazz, Hard-Rock, R&B, Classical, Vocal Boost, and a variety of others. There’s also an exciting feature that links the headlights with the receiver. So, whenever the lights are turned on, the receiver will automatically dim the backlight.
Even more, you can download the Android app of JVC Music Play, and then you can listen to songs through USB connectivity. Furthermore, you can search for songs in terms of album, singer, genre and song name. Basic controls such as forward, rewind, stop, and play are of course easily reached on the head unit itself.
JVC KD-R690S Key Features:
- Includes Radio, USB, AM/FM Tuner, AUX functionality and Remote control.
- Work with Apple, Android, Pandora and more
- Compatible with MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC files and flash drives
- Quick and easy detaching process
- Excellent color illumination and readability
Best Budget Pick: SiriusXM SXEZR1V1 Onyx EZR Satellite Radio
The SXEZR1V1 Onyx EZR Satellite Radio is a powerful radio equipped with a beautiful 3.2-inch high-resolution display. On this large display, you see the artist name, channel name, or the program title. You can also store up to 10 of your favorite channels so that you can listen to them anytime you want. A split-screen mode even allows you to access different channels at the same time.
You are also provided with the options regarding the dual-color display. You can choose between white text on a black background and black text on a white background. The process of installation is straightforward and convenient. You can easily do it yourself by following a guide. You are also provided with the options regarding the dual-color display. You can choose between white text on a black background and black text on a white background.
TuneMix is yet another lovely benefit; you blend your favorite channels and create a channel of your own making. Moreover, the feature of the One-Touch jump will make you jump to the channel you were previously enjoying. You can listen to your favorite content in your home, office, or any vehicle with a 1-year subscription.
SiriusXM SXEZR1V1 Onyx EZR Satellite Radio Key Features:
- 3.2-inch display with high-resolution
- State-of-the-art ticker display
- Allows you to save up to 10 of your favorite channels
- Equipped with easy to use parental controls
- Easy DIY installation process
- Only one subscription allows you to listen at home, the office, and multiple vehicles
Best Portable Satellite Radio: SiriusXM SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus
SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus Satellite Radio is an excellent potential portable satellite radio selection. It comes with a big display that you can read the name of the songs, artists, and channel logos while enjoying the music. Even more, if you want to plug this kit into the already available stereo of your car, you can do that quite easily in a few steps.
Enjoy more than 20 XTRA channels with more music and more fun. There are also channels with different languages. TuneStart, another great feature, starts the music from the beginning so that you never miss any lyric even if you tune in halfway through a song. Subsequently, TuneMix will let you mix several channels into one single channel.
Additional features of this satellite radio include basic functions like pause, rewind, and replay, and one-touch jump-back. Furthermore, you can store 20 smart channels, enact parental controls, and even listen from home as well. Listen wherever, whenever, whether in your car, your home, or your office, with a 1-year subscription.
SiriusXM SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus Key Features:
- Connects to preinstalled FM radios with an AUX cable.
- Allows you to save up to 20 of preset channels
- Hundreds of channels from every genre imaginable
- The high-quality display shows numerous forms of info in real-time
- Access the stereo from anywhere in your vehicle via remote control
Best Touchscreen Satellite Radio: Kenwood DDX25BT
Kenwood’s DDX25BT satellite radio comes with a bright, sharp, and colorful display. True to the Kenwood brand, the build quality of this radio is superb while the design itself is also quite pleasing to the eyes. Apart from the soothing listening experience, it provides you with parking guidelines as well through a rearview camera. In this manner, your entertainment needs and your car’s security are both ensured.
There’s also a built-in Bluetooth functionality so that you can take or make calls without physically picking up your phone. You can also control the music through hands-free mode as well, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. In this manner, your phone turns into a remote control.
Even more, the stereo comes with a pair of free Alphasonic earbuds so that you can listen to the songs, using the headset. Other features include crisp, clean, white illumination which makes accessing the stereo at night becomes a breeze. There is also an LCD touchscreen display, allowing ease touch control of the unit.
Kenwood DDX25BT Key Features:
- Big, bright, crisp display
- Easy to use and easy to read
- Includes a complementary pair of Alphasonic earbuds
- Bluetooth Built-in
- Comes with a rear facing back-up camera and parking guide
Who Should Buy a Satellite Radio
If you drive a car and get bored because of the endless, tiring and exhausting journeys. Then, you are missing out on satellite radio. Satellite radio is a must-have for your car to make your travels more enjoyable. Satellite radio is an audio device that operates through a satellite. So, it is quite simple in its functioning. It also carries a monthly charge. A monthly fee has been applied to provide you with a flawless service with a variety of channels. There is considerable diversity in terms of channels and programs. Now, you will never get bored on the road if you install satellite radio in your vehicle.
One of the significant benefits of satellite radio is that it will offer you with an ad-free experience. Ads can crush your mood. So, every channel that is broadcasted on satellite radio is almost commercial-free. In this manner, you will enjoy a smooth expedition. The quality of satellite radio is close to being perfect. You will listen to the best quality audio wherever you go in the United States. As it functions through a satellite, you will receive a similar reception wherever you go. You will not lose connection, and the transmission will be smooth, unlike an FM service.
The channels present on XM as well as on Sirius broadcasts excellent stuff for you. Whether, it is news, music, sports buzz, or entertainment, you will get each update right on time. If you are a person, drained entirely because of the horrible ads, you must consider installing satellite radio in your vehicle. Apart from that, if you spend most of your time in your car, then get satellite radio for the car. Satellite radio is best for you if you drive alone. When there is no one to give you a lovely company, satellite radio will play that part for you.
Important Features to Consider
- Programming/packages. SiriusXM offers three different kinds of subscriptions. They are known as XM, Sirius, and SiriusXM. The features of three of these subscriptions are quite similar with a few minor changes. The XM plan includes XM Select, All Access, Mostly Music. The Sirius plan includes Sirius Select, All Access, Mostly Music. The SiriusXM plan includes SiriusXM Select, All Access, Mostly Music.
- Monthly costs. Xm, Sirius, and SiriusXM are all now one and the same. No matter which brand your satellite radio is linked to, the places will be literally the same price. Mostly Music, which runs $9.99 per month for over 80 channels, Select, at $14.99 per month for over 140 channels. And last but not least, All Access at $18.99 per month for over 300 of the best satellite radio channels.
- Audio quality. The sound quality of satellite radio is very clear, audible, and soothing to the ears. The equalization, including bass and treble adjustments, is crisp and accurate. However, if the weather is terrible, you might receive a lousy quality output. Apart from that, the reception quality is superb, raising no complaints 99.99 percent of the time.
- Brand name. Initially, there used to be two different brands providing the broadcast services, known as Sirius and XM. Now, the brands have been merged, renaming themselves as SiriusXM. It has been formed into one brand, providing several channels to the subscribers.
- Cost. There are a variety of ways of installing satellite radio in your vehicle. So, the price will also vary. You can go for a satellite adapter kit that will be adjusted to the vehicle’s factory radio. It will cost you around $300 for a full-fledged package. Another option is the Portable XM Radio Tuners & FM Modulators. These will cost approximately $90. You can also look for an aftermarket stereo. For this, you will have to scrap your factory unit and shell out around $100.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a satellite radio, and how does it work?
Satellite radio is a broadcasting service that works with the help of a satellite. Through the satellite, audio signals are transmitted over a large geographical area. The area covered by a satellite radio is far more than a normal and conventional terrestrial radio service.
Is satellite radio better than FM?
Satellite radio is far more superior as compared to an FM. There are a variety of channels that you can only listen through satellite radio. Apart from that, the quality easily beats FM. The satellite transmits signals over a long range. So, wherever you go, you will receive a similar reception, which is not the case with FM. Although, you have to pay a hefty amount for using the services of a satellite radio while FM is free. However, if you consider going for satellite radio, you will be offered with many benefits.
Is there a difference between Sirius and XM radio?
There is a difference between Sirius and XM radio in terms of programming. The programs that are broadcasted on Sirius might not be available on XM. However, the latest SiriusXM offers ‘XTRA’ channels that are not available on the older units. This is the only significant change between Sirius and XM.
What is the difference between satellite radio and internet radio?
Satellite radios are specially designed for vehicles. You can tune into a satellite radio while driving. Whereas, internet radio is capable of providing you with the broadcast service right on your mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and laptops. An internet radio, as clearly evident from the name, uses an internet connection for providing the services. While a satellite radio uses signals from a satellite to operate, also, satellite radio will be more costly as compared to internet radio.
Other Satellite Radios We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other satellite radios. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best satellite radios list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your auto audio needs. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Double Din Satellite Radios
- Satellite Radios for Trucks and Vans
- Budget Satellite Radios
- Satellite Radio Installation and Mounting Kits
Double Din Satellite Radios
This Double-DIN satellite radio from Pioneer is compatible with CDs, MP3 files, USB cable, Bluetooth, Pandora Link, MIXTRAX, iPod, Spotify and more.
- VA LCD Display with LED Backlight
- Dimmer settings
- Custom Brightness control
- Four color customizations
The iLX-207 is one of the most integrated and impressive satellite radios around. It works with Apple and Android, voice command, and comes with a giant high-end 7-inch display.
- AM/FM and HD radio tuner
- Fully integrated features including Siri, maps, phone, apps, and music
- Works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Massive 7-inch Touchscreen VGA display
- Bluetooth ready
Voice control, dual USB port, touchscreen controls, and easy DIY installation are just a few of the most significant benefits of the Sony XAV-AX5000 Double-DIN satellite radio.
- 6.95-inch touchscreen: Bring up
- Quick-tap controllability for maps, playlists, making phone calls and more
- Quick-access key panel
- Dual USB ports
Another of the most integrated and interactive satellite radios on the market is the Boss Audio BVCP9675A. This double-DIN stereo works with Apple, Android, and Bluetooth as well as smartphones and GPS.
- Compatible with smartphones and most MP3 players
- Bluetooth for making and receiving calls, controlling music, and connecting to appls such as Spotify and Pandora
- Radio Data Broadcasting System Tuner includes balance, fader, bass, treble, and other EQ adjustments
SiriusXM readiness, a 6.95 VGA LCD Wide color display with LED backlight, built-in Bluetooth and more make the Kenwood Excelon an excellent high-end satellite radio selection for anyone looking to invest several hundred dollars.
- Built-in GPS navigation options
- Apple and Android compatible
- Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free usability
- All the cutting-edge features of the best satellite radios on the market
Satellite Radios for Trucks and Vans
- Professionally Remanufactured OEM Unit
- Auxiliary Input allows use with Apple, Android, MP3 players, Satellite Radio, and more
- Excellent replacement for trucks with factory stereo units
Cost: from $145.00
For those driving Chevy trucks or vans made from 1995 to 2005 with stock radios, this bad boy is the perfect replacement. Advanced EQ options, Bluetooth, Satellite, and high-quality components are just a few of the best things about this radio.
- Crafted with GM OEM parts
- Slide and bolt mounts
- Auxiliary Input and Bluetooth for compatibility with Android, Apple, Satellite, CD, MP3, radio tuners and more
Cost: from $225.00
One of the most classic looking satellite radios for Chevy trucks is the USA-230, made from 1978 to 1988. Fashioned to appear like retro cassette players, it is fully compatible with satellite radio, Aux input, MP3 and AM/FM.
- Retro-style AM/FM stereo
- 2-Channel RCA Aux Input for use with satellite radio and mobile devices
- Compatible with both American and European models
Another super cool satellite radio for those who love Chevy is the USA-630 II. It is one of the most retro options on the market and is fully integratable with satellite, Apple, and Android devices.
- AM/FM stereo design in retro fashion
- Works with Apple, Android, Satellite, and more via Aux input
- Made for American and European vehicles
If you’re driving a Ford van or truck manufactured between 199 and 2010 this unit is an exceptional replacement. The radio works with Aux input, so it’s friendly with not only satellite but MP3 players and all sorts of mobile devices as well.
- Works for Ford trucks and vans made from 1999 until 2010
- Features AM/FM, CD, Cassette, and Aux input for even more functionality
- Works with Apple, Android, and more
- Excellent EQ options for superior control of your sound
Budget Satellite Radios
The Stratus 7 Satellite radio is eligible for all the best subscription packages and channels, has a superb LED-backlit display and is both easy to use and install.
- Does not include subscription
- Aux input allows for a higher level of connectivity
- All the best functions normally reserved for more expensive radios
The SiriusXM Commander is one of the top budget satellite radios on the market. It has a killer design, highly interactive and easy to use interface, and excellent compatibility with mobile devices.
- Sleek design with color touchscreen control display
- Ticker that reads off song titles, artist names, channel logos, and more
- Includes TuneStart feature
Cost: from $65
Perhaps the smallest of all XM satellite radios, the classic Delphi XM Roady XT comes ready for the road. It includes a cradle, transmitter, 150+ channels, and an easy plug and play installation process.
- Super-compact design made for road trips
- Over 150 channels to choose from
- Easy to install and operate
- Comes ready to rock and roll
The Sirius XM Onyx EZ Radio is a wonderful choice for replacing your satellite radio in your car. No need to repurchase mounting equipment, just replace your old Onyx stereo with one of these.
- Makes a great replacement radio
- No need for installing a mount
- Eligible for most current SiriusXM packages and channels
- 10 audio presets
Blast your favorite tunes in style with the Sound Storm single-DIN SDC26B car stereo. This impressive unit is hands-free controllable and compatible with just about anything that plays music including apps like Pandora and Spotify.
- Hands-free controllability
- Easy to use and install
- AM/FM, CD, USB, Bluetooth and more
Satellite Radio Installation and Mounting Kits
When you find the perfect satellite radio for your vehicle, most of the time you’ll need a mounting kit as well. This DXDV3 is compatible with most Onyx, Edge, Stratus, Sportster, Starmate, and Xpress models.
- Affordable price for a high-quality kit
- Compatible with dozens of individual models
- Easy to install
If your vehicle’s antenna isn’t compatible with your new satellite radio, consider picking up one of these magnetic antenna mounts. They work with just about any satellite radio.
- Mounts to most any vehicle
- 23-feet of cable for antenna
- Rubberized boots prevent damaging your vehicle
- Compatible with nearly any Sirius, XM, or SiriusXM radios and docks
For vehicles that are a few years older, a direct adapter makes things a whole lot easier. Simply plug it into your dash and begin switching from FM to satellite signals in no time.
- Installs directly into your FM radio
- Allows you to switch back and forth from FM to Satellite channels
- Compatible with most docks and portable radios
- Comes with excellent instructions
After you’ve installed the best satellite radio for your vehicle, perhaps you’re having a bit of trouble installing it. If so, look into one of these Connect Vehicle Tuner Kits.
- Works with SiriusXM radios
- Allows you to quickly and easily install your radio
- Use a single connector cable
- Comes with a magnetic antenna mount
Cost: from $40
Powering the perfect satellite radio can be tricky depending on the make and model of vehicle you drive. But, it doesn’t have to be. A 5V PowerConnect Vehicle Power Adapter could be the answer to your problems.
- Replaces the power supply to your satellite stereo
- Does not fit older Sirius or XM cradles
- Compatible with docking stations that include red, blue, white, and green color-coding