Commercial radio is the pits, we all know it's true. When we lived up North, radio was better but not by much. Now that we live in the South, it's all religious stations and from November 1 through mid-January it's endless loops of Christmas music. Fine for many I'm sure, but not my preference.
To me, there's a wonderful feeling of freedom driving down the road, listening to to some of my favourite songs, singing wildly in my car.
On a daily basis, I don't spend too much time in the car. So when my husband suggested getting me an aftermarket Sirius satellite radio, I wasn't convinced it was a great idea or a great use of funds. He has one in his SUV and we love it. Since he was getting my basic model for free with pre-payment of an annual subscription, I figured we'd give it a whirl and see how it went.
Am I ever glad we did! I love it. I can get whatever genre of music I want at any time of the day or night - 60's, 70's, Classic Rock, "Hair" bands, Sinatra, Soul, R&B, Jimmy Buffet, BBC America news and MUCH more. Turns out, one of my favourite DJ's from my hometown has his own show. A nice bonus.
The unit has 10 pre-sets, as many pre-sets as the in-dash radio in my car. Gives me a wide range of genres to choose from at any given moment to tickle my fancy.
Very easy to install; took my husband all of 10 minutes.
The annual subscription price is very reasonable, imNSho, and I've been known to be quite frugal.
The cons of the basic receiver:
Lowest channel the tuner will register is *not* the ideal channel for reception in our area. Fortunately, the other channels are readily available. My husband's unit - one we paid for - does have the 88.7 FM channel on the aftermarket tuner.
Changing the reception channel is not easy. The buttons are very small, naturally, and requires a sequence of choices to be able to change the receiving FM radio station. I highly recommend to pull over to the shoulder, into a parking lot or into a rest area if you need to tweak the tuner for improved reception.
Additionally, if you are traveling between cities you will need to update the reception channel on the tuner. Likely not if you are staying in your same general area but if traveling 50 miles or so away from home, you'll definitely need to change the FM channel and the reception channel for service. At least I have to in our rather remote geography.
If you will be traveling with the basic aftermarket Sirius auto tuner, I suggest you visit Sirius.com beforehand to retrieve the FM channel reception station[s] for your trip. You will need to search by ZIP CODE and then take the info with you. I believe this step is not required for factory-installed models.
While the aftermarket product I have is a bit wonky to operate when traveling afield, I love my SIRIUS radio and now can't imagine driving without it.