Portable SiriusXM Radio: Reviews, Alternatives, and More

SiriusXM is so awesome that it’s hard to leave your car after completing your trip. The powers that be at SiriusXM must’ve noticed how many people just sat parked in their cars listening to their favorite channels. So they rolled out portable SiriusXM radios. They have become quite popular over the past few years.

A portable SiriusXM radio is a device that looks and functions like an MP3 player with SiriusXM technology bundled into it.

The Most Popular Portable SiriusXM Radios on Amazon

SIRIUS Stiletto SL100

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The Stiletto is a truly portable radio. It has a built in satellite antenna, and will operate off of it’s own batteries. You can go running with it and listen to “live” satellite radio. With it, you can store up to 100 hours worth of songs and shows. It’s also compatible with MP3 and WMA files. You can connect it to your car stereo or home stereo with an aux cable or a docking kit.

SiriusXM-SSV7V1 Stratus 7

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This radio is portable in the sense that you can move the control unit from a docking station in your house to a docking station in your car. But it must be used with docking station. The docking station connects to the antenna and power supply. As one of the more affordable portable SiriusXM radios, this one allows you to store up to 10 of your favorite channels. It can be connected to your factory car stereo wirelessly through the FM tuner, or via an aux cable. The Stratus 7 comes with a docking station for your car. If you want to use it in your home, you will need to purchase an additional docking station.

SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus

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Described as a “great little radio” by one of the reviewers on Amazon, this radio comes with 20 presets and allows you to pause, rewind, and replay live satellite radio. It works in a similar manner as the Stratus 7, but it comes with a docking station for your home. If you want to use it in your car, you have to buy a car docking kit.

Delphi SA10224 SKYFi 3 Portable XM Radio Receiver

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This is also a truly portable radio, similar to the Stiletto. However, to listen to XM radio on the go, you’ll need these headphones that have an built in satellite radio antenna. The other key difference is that this radio only works on the XM platform, while the Stiletto works on the SiriusXM platform. There are some minor differences between the two platforms. This player features the largest screen of any portable XM receiver. It also is the only portable receiver to use MicroSD cards for storing music.

Pros of Owning a Portable SiriusXM Radio

People are buying portable SiriusXM radios because of the following advantages they offer:

  • Portability: This is the most obvious advantage of owning one of these radios. You can move the control unit from car to home, so you only need one. Some models let you listen to your favorite songs and SiriusXM shows on the go. There’s a drawback to this, though. You need to have a docking station set up everywhere just so you don’t have to carry around a bunch of wires and adapters. We’ll talk more about this later (under “cons”).
  • Affordability: You can buy one of these radios for as little as $25. However, remember that you get what you pay for. The quality of a typical portable radio isn’t always great, and we’ll discuss it more below (under “cons”).
  • Accessibility: Since portable XM and SiriusXM radios communicate directly with the satellites, they don’t require a data plan or internet access. If, for example, you want to listen to the radio while riding a tractor in the middle of a field in Kansas, you can do it with a portable radio.

Cons of Owning a Portable SiriusXM Radio

Portable SiriusXM radios sound great in theory, but there are factors that still need to be improved upon. Take the following drawbacks into consideration before deciding to buy one:

  • Quality: There’s a reason these radios cost very little. Portable radios tend to be fragile and often don’t last more than couple of years of daily use. The most popular portable radios – like the Stiletto SL100 – are fairly expensive. But you can always spend that kind of money on a better solution.
  • Clutter: In order to be truly portable, these SiriusXM radios need to be used along with a docking station. That means when you buy a portable radio, you need a docking station for home, for work, and for your car. Otherwise, you’re hauling around a bunch of wires and adapters with you. While some of these docking stations offer a really clean setup, a lot of people complain about wires and clutter when they add one to their vehicle.

An Alternative to Owning a Portable SiriusXM Radio: SiriusXM’s Streaming Add-On

Not thrilled about the idea of carrying around an extra device or cluttering up your dashboard? You should consider SiriusXM’s streaming add-on app. The app allows you to listen to your favorite channels on your phone or tablet. You just have to download the SiriusXM app to your smartphone or tablet. If you have bluetooth in your car stereo, you can play SiriusXM through the car stereo using the bluetooth connection.(Your phone or tablet needs to be connected to a data source. You may pay more for the data you use, depending on your data plan.)

A Better Integrated SiriusXM Solution for Your Car

Some people would like to add SiriusXM to their car, but aren’t enthused about either a portable unit, or replacing their entire factory stereo. There is another solution on the market. VAIS Technology offers quality satellite radio kits that integrate with your factory stereo. The kit adds the functionality that would exist if your car came with factory installed satellite radio. The benefits of this approach are:

  • The receiver module and wiring are hidden. There is no extra clutter on your dash.
  • Our fully integrated system will cause minimal driving distraction, compared to managing streaming with your phone.
  • Your steering wheel controls will control the SiriusXM radio.
  • Outstanding sound quality because the receiver module directly connects to your car stereo.
  • You can see stations and song titles on your factory car stereo display.
  • You can browse categories and stations.

With a satellite radio kit in your car, and a SiriusXM app on your phone, you can enjoy all the benefits of a portable radio without any of the drawbacks.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about the adapter kits offered by VAIS Technology.

Categories: Satellite Radio