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The Best Satellite Radios for Car, Truck, and Other Vehicles

best satellite radio for car

Stay informed and be entertained on the road with the best satellite radio for car.

Compared to conventional AM or FM radio, satellite radio delivers a plethora of benefits. For instance, it has a clearer output, which is a result of broadcasting over static-free digital signals that it obtains from orbiting satellites. Not to mention, you can enjoy access to diverse channels. From music to news, weather to traffic updates, it has you covered!

If you are looking for a satellite car radio, you will be overwhelmed with the long list of alternatives. As you narrow down your choices, below are some of the most important considerations:

  • Connectivity: A good radio is multifunctional, so it is good to have multiple connectivity options. It is nice to have Bluetooth, which will let you easily connect your phone wirelessly to stream music and make hands-free calls. A USB port is also great, especially for wired connectivity.
  • Sound Quality: The audio output does not only depend on the speaker system but also on the radio itself. Most of the top choices in the market have an equalizer, which will let you adjust treble and bass for an optimal listening experience.
  • Ease of Use: From the assembly to operation, the satellite radio should be user-friendly. It should come with detailed instructions to make the installation a snap. The buttons, meanwhile, should have a thoughtful layout.

Can’t decide what to buy? Read on as I walk you through the top satellite radio receivers, as well as some of the reasons why they stand out.

Top 7 Satellite Radio for Car Reviews

1. SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Satellite Radio

From your car to your home, this satellite radio is incredible. Pump out the tunes and listen to good music with the Onyx Plus Satellite Radio!

One of the first things you will notice on the Onyx Plus Satellite radio is the full-color display. The LED screen shows important information you know about a track, such as a song title, album name, and artist name. It occupies more than half of the front face of the radio, making it huge.

To add, this Sirius XM radio receiver for cars is exceptional because of its plug-and-play functionality. The kit is inclusive of almost everything that you will need for its assembly. It also works with universal connectors. Within minutes, you can enjoy its all the features. Once assembled, the wires stay hidden, creating a more seamless look on the dashboard.

The Onyx Plus Satellite Radio is great for music lovers because of its advanced features. For instance, it has TuneStart, which will let you listen to music from the start. TuneScan, meanwhile, makes it easy to search for songs on your favorites. On the other hand, the TuneMix feature allows you to personalize your own music channel.

For the best bang for the buck, a purchase of this portable satellite radio comes with a free SiriusXM subscription for three months. Through the app, I can access over 300 channels from satellite services, so I can make the most of the radio. Once it expires, you can renew your subscription for as low as $8.25 every month for continuous access to programming packages.

I also like how I can add a boombox to this unit. The latter works as built-in portable speakers, so I can operate it beyond my cars. It will produce dynamic and vibrant sound through the two-way speaker and powerful amplifier system.

 Heads-up:  However, one thing that I did not like in this SiriusXM satellite radio is how the buttons feel cheap, similar to its lower-end competitors. I am also not a fan of its low-resolution display, which can be difficult to see during the day.

 What We Liked: 
  • Easy set-up even for beginners
  • Hidden wires create a seamless dashboard look
  • Has advanced music features
  • Comes with three months free of SiriusXM subscription
  • Can pair with an optional boombox for an elevated listening experience
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • The buttons feel cheap
  • Low resolution makes the display hard to see
 Bottom Line:  From the plug-and-play functionality to the free three-month subscription, this SiriusXM radio for cars is one of the most notable products in the market today.

2. Alpine ‎8542140455 Satellite Tuner

Redefine the way you listen to the radio! With this Alpine satellite tuner, you can stream music the way you want, allowing access to various sources!

One thing that got me hooked on this product is its versatility. It is compatible with both Sirius and Pandora so that I can retrieve music from various service providers. It even has a USB port, so I can connect a flash drive. I can also charge my device through this port.

Another great reason to choose this product is its Bluetooth connectivity. Not only does it support wireless streaming, but I can also use it for hands-free calling. This way, I do not need to hold my phone when talking to someone, making the driving experience safer.

Do you like customizing the audio output of your radio? I love how this unit comes with a three-band parametric equalizer, so I can make the necessary adjustments as I desire. Treble, mid, and bass are also customizable. It also has a low pass/high pass crossover, which makes the speaker frequencies more audible. It ensures clear audio playback.

It is impressive because of the optional steering wheel control. This way, I can operate the radio easier even when driving. A third-party adapter is needed to enjoy this feature. It is also controllable through a remote, but you must purchase such separately.

As a bonus, your purchase comes with a wired and tuned microphone. This is handy when you are talking to someone through Bluetooth. The mic is designed to reduce feedback and noise, so the person on the other end can hear you.

 Heads-up:  One of its shortcomings, however, is the screen glare. Under direct sunlight, the display is almost unreadable.

 What We Liked: 
  • Has Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling
  • Can connect to a steering wheel remote
  • Comes with an equalizer for customizing sound output
  • Includes a microphone that delivers crystal-clear audio
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • The screen has a glare under direct sunlight
 Bottom Line:  With wireless calling, adjustable equalizer, and optional steering wheel control, this satellite radio for cars with Bluetooth is sure to impress even the most discerning users.

3. SiriusXM SSV7V1 Satellite Radio

Simple and affordable, your purchase of this satellite receiver includes access to the Sirius network for three months. YWhether you are a music or sports fan, you will like this radio as you can listen commercial-free.

While it has many benefits, one of the most notable in this car is its intuitive operation. The thoughtful layout of the buttons makes it easy to control. Whether you are changing the volume or scanning stations, the controls are accessible. More so, it is intuitive because you can add ten presets, which will allow instant one-touch access to your favorite channel.

Another great feature of this SiriusXM satellite radio is the One-Touch Jump, which is especially useful if you often do long drives. All it takes is a single click and the radio will jump to give you an instant update on the traffic or weather, depending on your current location. There is no need to scroll through several stations manually. This will help as well in planning your trips.

Aside from the buttons, most of the screen is occupied by the blue display. The latter is bright enough, making it easy to see day or night. It shows information like song title and artist name. It is also where you can find the program title.

Your purchase of this satellite radio comes with the things you will need for its assembly. The vehicle kit is inclusive of a power adapter, aux-in cable, mounting accessories, and vehicle dock. It even has an antenna, which is highly effective in improving the radio’s reception for a longer reach and without interference.

 Heads-up:  The biggest drawback of this SiriusXM radio is its design. It has an outdated look. From the buttons to the screen, it is not for those who want a radio that will stand out in their dashboard.

 What We Liked: 
  • Includes a three-month SiriusXM subscription
  • Allows users to store up to ten presets
  • Informative blue screen display
  • The included vehicle kit has everything needed for installation
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Outdated design with poor-looking buttons and screen
 Bottom Line:  One of the top-rated Sirius radios for vehicles, this is a simple and affordable model with an outdated design, but rest assured, the functions are not compromised.

4. Delphi SA10175 Roady XT Satellite Radio

If you hate commercials and you want to access tons of stations wherever you are, this is one of the top satellite radio options worth considering for music and sports fans.

At first glance, you will notice its obsolete design. It is not as elegant as its newer counterparts, but that does not make it less functional. A big part of the front panel is occupied by the backlit screen, which shows programming information. You can choose from seven colors, allowing you to customize its illumination.

Save time and effort when tuning in to your favorite stations. This model is designed with 30 presets. This will eliminate the need for manual scanning every time you would like to listen to a specific situation, allowing you to easily find the previous channel you were listening to.

The sky’s the limit when listening. You will access more than 150 stations. Whether you want to hear traffic updates or weather news, there is a station worth listening to. Once you have chosen a station, the display will show programming information you need to know, including the song title and artist name.

When you buy this satellite radio, you will receive a car installation kit. It has the mounts and hardware that you will need. It is also worth noting that it is compact, making it a great addition to small cars. With a width of 3.7 inches, a height of 2.25 inches, and a depth of .615 inches, it is one of the smallest units on this list.

 Heads-up:  While it offers easy installation overall, the trickiest part is the assembly of the antenna. Mounting it can be hard, especially if you are not into DIY tasks.

 What We Liked: 
  • Choose from seven display colors
  • Allows users to save up to 30 stations for easy tuning
  • Access more than 150 stations
  • Compact body makes it ideal for small vehicles
  • Includes a car installation kit
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Mounting the antenna can be tricky
 Bottom Line:  From the compact design to the intuitive operation, this exceptional satellite radio should be on your radar.

5. SiriusXM SXEZR1H1 Satellite Radio

Adding this radio to an existing stereo system makes it easy to redefine your music listening and streaming experience on the road. Say goodbye to poor reception and interference.

This SiriusXM receiver for cars has an elegant look. Design-wise, it is one of my favorites out of the products in this review. It looks like the head unit is an entire screen. However, it isn’t since there are physical buttons on the right-hand side and bottom portion.

The high-resolution display is another feature worth noting. I can choose from two display options – black text on a white background or white text on black background. There is also a split-screen mode, which allows users to make the most of the display.

Another excellent feature that you will find in this satellite receiver is parental control. You can lock and unlock channels, preventing access to age-inappropriate content. You can set a four-digit lock code.

Enjoy more than 150 channels in your car and over 300 channels through a mobile app through SiriusXM. Depending on your interet, you have plenty of satellite radio stations to choose from. Whether listening to music or looking for the latest news, this radio has you covered. I also like how you can save ten of your favorite channels for automatic tuning.

No need to worry about the installation of this radio. You can install it almost anywhere in your car. Because it is lightweight and compact, you can easily pick a space where the radio will fit.

 Heads-up:  Nonetheless, if there is one thing that the manufacturer can improve, it would be the included mount. It is a stick-on with a weak adhesive, which does not properly support the weight of the radio.

 What We Liked: 
  • Elegant design with a high-resolution display
  • Has parental controls for unlocking mature content
  • Save up to ten channels for easy tuning
  • Easy installation even for a novice
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • The included mount has underwhelming quality
 Bottom Line:  Made by one of the most trusted satellite radio brands in the global market, this elegant product has a high-resolution display, parental controls, and effortless DIY installation.

6. NVGOTEV Car Radio Stereo

A double din car radio, this product will make an elegant addition to any car. Aside from its aesthetic, I also like how feature-rich the radio is.

While it has almost all the features you want, one of the best is the seven-inch digital resistive display. The touchscreen functionality makes the operation intuitive, eliminating the need for chunky buttons. It also supports a multi-monitor display, so you can use multiple units and see the same thing on the screen, regardless of where you position them in your car.

Go beyond playing music when you have this radio! More than connecting to different satellite radio providers, I can do more. For instance, it has built-in Bluetooth functionality, which supports wireless calling. It even comes with a built-in microphone to ensure crystal-clear audio whenever I am on a call and I do not have the phone next to my mouth when speaking.

One of the many features of this radio is the phone mirror. However, it only works with iOS at this time. With the PhoneLink app, you can simultaneously see the display on the radio and your smartphone screen. Other features that you will like include GPS compatibility, support for rear and front view cameras, and steering wheels control. It also has a wireless remote control.

It is also worth noting that the radio can deliver excellent sound quality, although it will still largely depend on the speaker system. I like how it has a 16-band equalizer. I can choose from different predetermined sound effects to suit a specific genre for an optimal music listening experience.

 Heads-up:  Nonetheless, the price of this product can be discouraging for most buyers. It is the most expensive on this list. The cost is justifiable because of its exceptional construction and top-notch features.

 What We Liked: 
  • Elegant and intuitive touchscreen display
  • Has built-in Bluetooth function for wireless calling
  • The built-in mic ensures audio clarity
  • Allows phone mirroring
  • Excellent sound quality with options for customization
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Not for people on a budget
 Bottom Line:  To conclude, this satellite radio excels because of its large touchscreen display, an equalizer for sound customization, and Bluetooth that supports wireless functionalities, including hands-free calling.

7. SiriusXM SXVCT1 Satellite Radio

When it comes to satellite radio service for cars, SiriusXM is one of the unrivaled names. While they have a lot of products, wrapping up our list is the Commander Touch, which will make an elegant and functional accessory in any car.

It stands out because of its full-color display. It has a generous size, so you can see program information like the radio station, artist’s name, album title, and even album art. With the touchscreen functionality, it has no bulky buttons.

The vehicle kit that comes with this radio is inclusive of a magnetic antenna. When installed on the roof of your car, it can significantly improve reception. There is no need to drill since you do not have to mount the antenna through screws.

I can access up to 350 channels when using this product. It can even function as a free satellite radio for cars because of the frequencies I can access without a fee. Whether you want to listen to talk radio or stay updated on the news, the radio has you covered.

It is also amazing that it has many features that will make listening to music better. For instance, it has TuneStart, which means that you can listen to the start of every song, even if it has already been halfway when you tuned in. Meanwhile, with the TuneMix feature, you can customize your own music channel. You can even pause, replay, rewind, and fast forward music, which are things that you won’t be able to do on conventional radio.

 Heads-up:  The manufacturer recommends professional installation for the best outcome. I tried installing it by myself, and the process was frustrating. It is not as straightforward as the others on this list.

 What We Liked: 
  • Has a beautiful digital touchscreen display
  • Includes a magnetic antenna to improve signal reception
  • Access hundreds of channels for the ultimate in-car entertainment
  • Will let you customize a playlist
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Requires professional installation
 Bottom Line:  Wrapping up, I am a big fan of this elegant radio with touchscreen display as it delivers over 350 channels for unrivaled listening on the road.

What to Look for When Buying Satellite Radio for a Car

sattelite-radio-receivers

For the uninitiated, all satellite radios are the same. However, if you research and examine them closely, you will find that they are different in many ways. Here are some of the most important considerations.

  • Connectivity

For the best bang for the buck, choose one that offers several options for connectivity. One of the best is Bluetooth, which will let you easily connect a device wirelessly. Aside from being able to stream music, you can also make hands-free calls. It is not just convenient but also safe since you do not need to hold your phone when driving and talking to someone.

You will also find satellite radios with a USB port. It is for those who prefer a wired connection to an external source. The same port can also be used for charging.

  • Sound Quality

The overall quality does not only depend on the speakers. It is also influenced by the radio itself. I suggest looking for one that comes with an equalizer or a similar function, which will let you customize audio. From the treble to the bass, you must have the option to personalize the output depending on your preference.

  • Ease of Use

A user-friendly satellite radio offers effortless installation. The assembly should be a quick DIY task instead of a job that will require paying a professional. It must include a detailed manual, as well as the necessary hardware for mounting the unit.

More so, the operation should be intuitive. A touchscreen display is nice to have. A thoughtful layout is a must for quick operation if it has old-school buttons. Some may even have voice control. Having a wireless remote and steering wheel control will also help in making the radio a breeze to use. It is also great to have multiple presets, eliminating the need to tune in manually.

  • Channels

Consider the number of channels you can access using satellite radio. It can range from 100 to 400, largely depending on the service where you have a monthly subscription. By having channels, you can listen to more on-demand content, whether it is music, sports, news, traffic, talk radio, or weather.

  • Design

The first thing that you will see in radio is its design. With this, you should consider the aesthetic of the radio. I love those with a touchscreen display since they can create a seamless look on my dashboard. It should not be an eyesore.

Can You Get Satellite Radio for Free

satellite-car-radio

Yes, you can get satellite free radio. One of the ways by which you can enjoy it without a fee is by buying a new unit. For instance, many of those from SiriusXM will come with a free three-month subscription. They even offer a free trial to those unsure if the monthly subscription is worth it. Additionally, there are some free channels you can access at SiriusXM.

What’s the Difference Between XM and Sirius

The most important thing to look at is the price. Sirius is a car satellite radio service that you can avail of for $12.95 per month, allowing you to access 120 channels. On the other hand, XM is cheaper at $9.95 per month with 122 channels. Nonetheless, the price no longer matters these days. Sirius and XM merged to form SiriusXM to deliver better services to their clientele.

Is SiriusXM the Only True Satellite Content Provider

Yes, SiriusXM is the only true satellite content provider. Its satellite and streaming service platform is known for delivering unrivaled content without ads, providing an exceptional listening experience. Whether it is music, news, sports, or any other broadcast, SiriusXM has your needs covered on the road.

What Are the Satellite Radio Companies

In the past, there have been two major satellite radio companies – Sirius and XM. Today, however, you will not find satellite radio services other than Sirius. It has merged with XM, so they have a monopoly on the market.

What Is the Difference Between Sirius Status 7 and Onyx EZ

When comparing Stratus 7 vs Onyx EZ, one of the first things to look at is the design. They are both obsolete without a touchscreen display. The Stratus 7 has a large rectangular display surrounded by buttons on the left, right, and bottom. Meanwhile, the SiriusXM Onyx EZ has a squarish display with controls on the right side and bottom.

Talking about Onyx EZ vs Stratus 7 function-wise, they are almost the same. Both will let you save ten presets for one-touch access to your favorite channels. You can also browse other channels while listening to another channel. Plus, they both have parental control, so you can lock and unlock age-inappropriate channels.

Conclusion

A satellite radio receiver for cars will elevate your driving experience. Whether you are stuck in traffic or on a road trip, such a radio will help you stay informed and entertained. With the best satellite radio for car, you can tune in to various channels, including those that you cannot access with a conventional AM or FM radio. Best of all, you can expect clear reception for the best output, although such will depend largely on the quality of the product you will pick.

5/5 - (3 votes)