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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > X Series > X1 E84 (2011 - current)

X1 E84 (2011 - current)
The new to the US BMW X1 will arrive at BMW dealers in the fall of 2012 as a 2013 model year. Get your X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or get the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i dDrive.

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  #1  
Old 09-10-2013, 02:40 PM
Rob Good Rob Good is offline
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

Like many I have the 1 year deal. I had listened to XM back in the day and it sounded good through a home based receiver. I knew there was a shotgun merger in the industry and that many of the channels I liked on XM were subsumed. But nothing prepared me for the crappy quality of the Sirius signal. I thought something was wrong with my car, brought it in, etc. Then I checked the Web:

https://www.google.com/search?q=siri...en-US:official

Seems like Sirius has been radically reducing the bandwidth on many channels as they keep adding new channels. Sure has been my experience that the quality is lacking, my FM radio is MUCH better. Instruments do not sound correct, there is little dynamic range, voices are distorted. Some claim the bitrate is down to 28K, which is really pathetic. Even Itunes can give you 334K

Rob
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2013, 03:03 PM
whitby whitby is offline
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We purchased a new 528i and included satellite radio as one of the options earlier last year and then were configuring up a new X1 later on in the year. The quality on XM Sirius in the 528i was so bad we opted not to include satellite in our X1 options.

We listen mainly to jazz and were shocked at how poor the sound was. Most of it is due to low bandwidth digital sampling which results in very poor sounding mid and high frequencies, just like a low bit rate mp3 or equivalent. Dreadful and certainly not worth the money. Now we just use our iPhone 5s connected to the system with our own music plus FM/HD Radio where available.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2013, 04:25 PM
nostatic nostatic is offline
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Depends on the channel and the day. Real Jazz seems to be particularly prone to artifacts. The rock/pop stations a bit less, though it also could be due to the program material. HD FM does sound better but you're stuck with commercials and limited playlists. Plus if you're on a road trip, you can be out of luck. I'll play my phone if I want higher fidelity, but variety wins out and I can deal with the Sirius sound most of the time. ymmv.
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2013, 05:33 PM
Rob Good Rob Good is offline
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Well I suppose this reveals something about me, but I spend most of my FM time on left hand of the dial. NPR and classical channels are often good quality. I do some dial searching for college independent stations when driving between midwest and east coast. Lots of college stations, esp. in Ohio.

The Sirius quality just got to me last night listen to Riders on the Storm. Pretty simple song, not many instruments to replicate, sounded like it was played through water. That was on Deep Vinyl. I also check Underground Garage and it usually lacks any bass below 100hz
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:05 PM
bjbolduc bjbolduc is online now
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

Hd is better quality but limited range. The hd signal also fails hard when you get out of range.
I like the consistent coverage on long drives for the Sirius.



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Last edited by bjbolduc; 09-14-2013 at 09:19 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:19 PM
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Sirius sound & customer service have gone down every year.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2013, 08:35 PM
Wolfex Wolfex is offline
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

I have satellite radio on former cars and often get a rental car with it when I travel. It still skips every time you pass a bridge or large sky scraper. I don't know why they don't put in a buffer in the hardware to keep it from skipping. Pandora, iHeartRadio on the iPhone is all I use lately. They do buffer the signal so no skips!


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  #8  
Old 09-12-2013, 11:15 PM
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Sucky to hear the bad experiences.
I have Sirius with HK, and I quite enjoy the sound quality of the Sat radio.
Not as loud as mp3's, but quality is very good.

I listen to a lot of metal, and techno. All very good in my opinion.

For a sub $500 option, and a free one year subscription, I thought it was a good, nah... great option.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2013, 06:56 PM
2013x1 2013x1 is offline
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Glad to know its not my ears! Sounds like a cassette tape...wavey.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2013, 10:41 AM
gardenlady gardenlady is offline
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Angry Poor Satellite Radio Sound Quality

The sound quality in my 2013 328i is AWFUL! The music drags and produces a terrible, slow speed distorted, tinny effect. The FM radio and iTunes music via iPhone sound perfect, so I know it's not a problem with the radio or speakers.

I installed an after market XM satellite radio system in my 2002 325i that sounded perfect. I have also been in 2013 and 2014 models of non-BMW cars and SUVs and the sound is perfect. Why is BMW's system so inferior? I took it to my dealer and the tech agreed that there is a problem, but doesn't know what it is. He said he researched the issue and found complaints with many other late model cars which is not the case per my experience. He blames Sirius which sounds like a cop out. Why would other new cars have great Sirius sound as well as my old after market system? Any ideas from anyone on his/her experience and what to do about it?
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2013, 08:52 PM
2013x1 2013x1 is offline
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So it's the car and not Sirius?
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  #12  
Old 10-06-2013, 02:19 PM
JimH46 JimH46 is offline
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Anyone know what it takes to activate the SiriusXM on a 2014 X1 with the stock (premium) radio? Brochure with the car indicates 1 year free service, but can't find the SAT function on the radio and thus can't get the ESN needed.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2013, 04:06 PM
bjbolduc bjbolduc is online now
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH46 View Post
Anyone know what it takes to activate the SiriusXM on a 2014 X1 with the stock (premium) radio? Brochure with the car indicates 1 year free service, but can't find the SAT function on the radio and thus can't get the ESN needed.
Do you have idrive or the standard interface? On idrive am/fm./satellite are options on screen.


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  #14  
Old 10-06-2013, 05:21 PM
JimH46 JimH46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbolduc View Post
Do you have idrive or the standard interface? On idrive am/fm./satellite are options on screen.


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Standard. Manual says press Audio then SAT. But there is no SAT that appears.
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2013, 02:14 PM
GreatStarSe7en GreatStarSe7en is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH46 View Post
Standard. Manual says press Audio then SAT. But there is no SAT that appears.
Most iDrive equipped bmw has the satellite radio hardware pre-installed, you will just need the code to activate it. I just did it.

I'm not sure what the case is with standard radio.
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  #16  
Old 10-08-2013, 05:48 AM
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Jealousofmywife Jealousofmywife is offline
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH46 View Post
Anyone know what it takes to activate the SiriusXM on a 2014 X1 with the stock (premium) radio? Brochure with the car indicates 1 year free service, but can't find the SAT function on the radio and thus can't get the ESN needed.
Good question. We didn't get iDrive either. We weren't about to pay thousands of dollars for something we get free on my phone.
But we did get Sirius, as we are long time subscribers to the service.

If/when we pick ours up later this week, I'm not leaving the dealer until someone shows us how this works.


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  #17  
Old 10-08-2013, 06:14 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2013x1 View Post
So it's the car and not Sirius?
No, it's Sirius. The sound quality is unlistenable using any device. I can't believe they are asking for money for that service. Even the sports broadcasts are terrible. Music of any kind is just out of the question.
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2013, 10:01 AM
JimH46 JimH46 is offline
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Well I got an answer from the dealer about the SiriusXM in my new X1. It's part of the Premium Package (which I do not have). I checked the option description and it indeed says satellite radio with 1 year free service.
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  #19  
Old 10-08-2013, 03:51 PM
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Jealousofmywife Jealousofmywife is offline
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH46 View Post
Well I got an answer from the dealer about the SiriusXM in my new X1. It's part of the Premium Package (which I do not have). I checked the option description and it indeed says satellite radio with 1 year free service.
Ah, ok.
Yes, it is part of the premium package, or you could have purchased it as a stand alone item.
We got the premium package, but not the iDrive. So we should get Sirius with no issues, I hope.

As for the sound quality, yes, it's crap.
I don't know how it is in the X1 as we've not picked ours up yet.
But as a general rule, many of the stations have poor broadcast quality.
My wife and I have been subscribers since 2005, and it has indeed gotten worse post-XM merge.

That being said, LA area rock radio has been total garbage since Pirate Radio, KLSX, and most importantly, KNAC went off the air.
So, poor quality, good music is better than great quality garbage.


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  #20  
Old 10-09-2013, 12:10 PM
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I was planning on getting the Sirius retrofit for my car, now I'm not even sure if it's worth it.

I've never had Sirius satellite and i didnt get it with my X1. Im okay with Pandora but havingit in TMobile just sucks
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  #21  
Old 10-24-2013, 07:30 PM
bjbolduc bjbolduc is online now
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What's the deal with bad Sirius Sound?

Sirius changed their lineup so there's a way to hear difference between satellite and fm and fm had
Z100 is fm and satellite in metro ny area. If you switch from one to other you will hear a big difference (improvement) on hd quality. Even with Katy perry (who was playing when I tried this out for a few seconds). I'm not an audiophile but can tell difference also NOT a Katy perry fan.
Sirius gives you range at expense of quality.


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  #22  
Old 10-24-2013, 07:52 PM
ScottMZ3 ScottMZ3 is offline
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I too am NOT impressed with Sirius audio quality. I mainly use the Bluetooth streaming for music from my iPhone and leave Sirius for just talk radio or comedy channels. But sometimes even just the talk radio sounds plain bad. Like others said the bit rate is so low there is just nothing you can do to improve it.

I'm happy with the non-HK for all other audio sources though. Key for me was dialing down the bass a fair amount and boosting treble. Sounds better to me.
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  #23  
Old 10-24-2013, 08:42 PM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottMZ3 View Post
I too am NOT impressed with Sirius audio quality. I mainly use the Bluetooth streaming for music from my iPhone and leave Sirius for just talk radio or comedy channels. But sometimes even just the talk radio sounds plain bad. Like others said the bit rate is so low there is just nothing you can do to improve it.

I'm happy with the non-HK for all other audio sources though. Key for me was dialing down the bass a fair amount and boosting treble. Sounds better to me.
I can't even stand sports and talk. It all just sounds like it's coming through a can at the end of a string to me. Offensive sound quality for something that they make you pay for.

My wife's Volvo has Sirius also; it's somewhat less terrible in her car. I do suspect BMW underspecified on the Sirius receiver hardware. But I've never heard any of it that I would want to have. The iPhone app is horrendous too.
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Last edited by WillInDenver; 10-24-2013 at 08:43 PM.
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