SiriusXM review

Sirius XM highlights

  • Starting at $8.00/mo.
  • Features personalized radio stations
  • Sign up now

Sirius XM review

All the way back in 1990, a trio of entrepreneurs and engineers formed Satellite CD Radio, Inc., and satellite radio was born. That company became Sirius Satellite radio. In 2008, it merged with its only competitor, XM Satellite Radio and became SiriusXM.

Although people sometimes compare SiriusXM to options like Spotify or Apple Music, SiriusXM provides a much different service. As an internet and satellite radio provider, it works more like cable TV than Netflix, although it offers on-demand content, including lots of podcasts.

Compare SiriusXM plans

SiriusXM Package*EssentialSelectAll Access
Price$8.00/mo.$16.99/mo.$21.99/mo.
Channels**Up to 337Up to 522Up to 574
Free trial3 monthsNoneNone
Ad-free musicYesYesYes
Listening optionsSirius XM app, online, homeSirius XM app, online, vehicle, homeSirius XM app, online, vehicle, home

*More packages available, including a la carte options. 
**SiriusXM frequently adds new channels, and specific options may vary by radio. You can check the current lineup to see what’s available now.

Why SiriusXM may be the right streaming service for you

SiriusXM serves up radio for people who don’t like radio, and it’s the only game in town when it comes to satellite options. FCC restrictions don’t apply to satellite radio, so you get uncensored songs and talk radio. Music stations have no ads, and satellite radio doesn’t have limited broadcast distance like regular radio, so you can enjoy music for hours, even in the middle of nowhere.

User experience

Your SiriusXM streaming experience will depend on the package you get. With car access packages, listening to SiriusXM is as easy as turning on your radio.

SiriusXM has supplies feature-rich web and mobile apps. You can add favorite Sirius XM channels, share tracks on Facebook and Twitter and even buy songs you like via iTunes, Google or Amazon. The interface also prominently displays information about the current track, including artists’ bio info. It even lets you set up alerts that allow you to jump to any station playing a particular song and start that song from the beginning.

Device compatibility

The service comes standard in most new cars (and sometimes that includes a temporary SiriusXM subscription). In addition, it comes with the following types of home devices:

  • Audio systems from Denon, DTS Play-Fi and Yamaha
  • PlayStation and Xbox
  • Streaming players like AppleTV, FireTV and Roku
  • Smart speakers like Alexa, Bose and Sonos
  • Smart TVs like LG, Samsung and Sony

There are also Android and iPhone apps, and the web player works in browsers on both Windows and Mac platforms.

SiriusXM features you’ll love

SiriusXM provides a rich listening experience, portability and plenty of control over what you hear. Here are some of the best features the service offers.

Uninterrupted car radio

SiriusXM is perfect for road trips. Unlike terrestrial radio, you won’t lose reception when you leave a broadcast area. You can listen to the same station literally for an entire cross-country journey.

Customized listening experience

The web app gives you a lot more control and personalization than you get with regular radio. You can tailor your listening experience via the MySXM feature, something you can’t do with an old-fashioned car radio. The service also works with Pandora to let you create personalized stations based on your preferences.

Notifications

SiriusXM will notify you when your favorite shows are about to start.

Powerful search

The app makes it easy to find your favorite artists and songs. It even lets you search for a given song and jump to any station that’s playing it.

No censorship

Since FCC content regulations don’t apply, SiriusXM can broadcast raw and uncensored content. This means no bleeps and a wider variety of music and topics.

What to listen to on SiriusXM

SiriusXM has a great variety of audio content, including music, talk, news, sports and comedy. It features decade specific music stations, exclusives like Howard Stern and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, sports broadcasts and several comedy stations. You won’t find the kind of independent and niche music that you would on a streaming service like Spotify or Deezer, but you’ll be able to listen for hours without hearing the same song.

The takeaway

If you’re looking for a streaming service akin to Apple Music, Amazon or Spotify, look elsewhere — that’s not what SiriusXM does. If you want an uninterrupted, uncensored radio in your car, complete with genre-specific stations, talk radio, comedy and sports, SiriusXM is the only game in town. If all you need is a simple way to get some tunes online, SiriusXM isn’t the easiest or most cost-effective way to do so. For a true fan of radio, though, it’s a must-have.

Aaron Trumm

Aaron Trumm has been writing, creating content, and producing media, online presences and music for 25 years. He is the founder and head of NQuit Music, holds a master’s degree from Stanford University, and was once the 10th ranked slam poet in the world. He's written for publications like Recording Magazine, Linux Journal, Computer Music Magazine, and SonicScoop, to name a few. He also enjoys sports and fitness so much that he's a certified personal trainer and often writes in that area as well.