Short answer? No, you can’t get SiriusXM in any car. It’s dangerous to say “any” because we can’t guarantee it. The best answer we can give is “most likely yes,” but there are some caveats.
1. The car has to have a stereo. If you don’t have some sort of stereo system, you’re going to have a hard time adding satellite radio!
2. If you don’t want to replace the factory stereo with an after-market radio (and, unless you’re adding a custom sound system to your car that’s probably not necessary), you need to install some sort of adapter kit to get the satellite radio to play through your speakers. There are 3 options:
- You can add a device called an FM modulator to transmit sound from a satellite radio receiver, but there are some problems with this option that we’ll touch on below.
- You can add an external satellite radio to your car. This works by mounting it on your dash using a special bracket, then running wires from this radio to your stereo. And, after that, you might need to plug something into the cigarette lighter too. Overall, it’s a messy look.
- You can get a satellite radio add-on adapter kit that’s designed for your factory car stereo (like the kits from VAIS Technology), and you can have satellite radio pumping through your factory speakers without a bunch of wires, dash clutter, or static.
FM Modulators – What You Need To Know
While FM modulators might seem like a quick fix for a complicated issue, they fall into the classic “too good to be true” category. There’s a slew of reasons why an FM modulator is problematic, including:
- Poor sound quality. You know that telephone game you’d play as a kid where you’d whisper a word or phrase through a line of people? That’s what an FM modulator is like. And much like the telephone game, the sound quality you end up with isn’t what was intended at all.
- Interference issues. FM modulators are subject to a LOT of interference. They’re weak by design (federal laws require this), which means cell phones, laptops, and even other FM modulators will affect sound quality.
- Double Interface. You know how difficult it can be to get the perfect sound from your radio. With an FM modulator, you’ll have two interfaces to tune in order to get the sound right.
- You can’t use the stereo to change channels. Because the satellite radio is external, you can’t change stations on the stereo face (or with the steering wheel). Instead, you have to change stations on that tiny little box.
- You need to mount a box to your dash. Making these systems work requires a box on the dash somewhere, which you use to change satellite radio stations. A lot of people find these little dash add-ons annoying, as they contribute to clutter.
While cheap, an FM modulator is just too finicky to invest in.
The Trouble With Adding On An External Satellite Radio Receiver
If you love clutter, then you’ll LOVE an external satellite radio receiver! Not only will you get to add a bracket to your dash or windshield, but the never-ending wires will almost guarantee a messy and cluttered look.
It’s almost guaranteed that wires will get tangled at some point, not to mention the demand for the cigarette lighter power plug. Nearly every dash mount satellite kit has to be plugged into the cigarette lighter. That means that charging a cell phone will mean listening to something other than satellite (or, buying one of those ugly 2-in-1 cigarette lighter adapters, adding to the clutter).
Last but not least, when it’s time to change satellite radio stations, you need to use the little dash mounted box. Your steering wheel controls won’t work, nor will the controls on your stereo.
Why We Think The VAIS Technology Approach Is Best
In light of all the problems with FM modulators (aka FM transmitters), and the compromises in form and function that external receivers require, we think our approach is best. And here’s why:
- Our products connect into your car’s original factory radio, even if your factory radio doesn’t have an AUX input.
- Our products function the same way that a factory installed satellite radio would – you can use the stereo controls to change stations, see the station name on the stereo’s screen, and so on. With our approach, you only have one interface to tune.
- Our products are designed to be easy to install. You can do it yourself, or find a local dealer to do the install for you.
- For years, new car dealers have used VAIS Technology products to add satellite radio to new cars without compromising the car’s basic stereo functionality.
We’re not saying this just because VAIS is OUR company – we’re saying all this because we’ve been in your shoes before. And we’ve developed these products so you don’t have to live with the issue like we did. If you’re ready to make the jump, shop our selection online!
Categories: Satellite Radio