I need a simple Sirius XM radio set-up that doesn't create clutter
December 3, 2013 10:45 AM   Subscribe

For Christmas, I want to get my mom some sort of Sirius XM radio set-up for her kitchen/house. My options as I see it are 1) finding an elusive under-the-cabinet radio 2) finding a way to get a radio that won't be in the way 3) or getting a sound system or something. I need some help. Details on my mom and what I am looking for below. Thanks in advance!

So I want to get my mom an XM radio set-up and she's pretty clueless about technology so I think I want to get her exactly what she gets in her car, which is XM satellite radio. To get this out of the way, I don't think internet radio with Bluetooth or anything like that is what I want.

My first thought was an under-the-cabinet kitchen radio with XM -- but do these not exist? I cannot find one. Amazon has one designed for RVs that doesn't work in a house. Ideally, I'd want an under-the-cabinet radio with XM, FM/AM, a CD player and maybe even a USB port. They make them for cars so I'm not sure why they couldn't exist for homes. She has an under-the-cabinet radio and CD player from the 90s I thought I could replace.

If that doesn't exist or is impossible, what would be a clean setup that won't create clutter but will give her XM? I think the kitchen is the best spot, but I don't want to take up counter space. My mom hates clutter and it's a relatively modest kitchen without a ton of counter space anyway. I don't think she needs another thing she has to leave out on the counter. What should I do?

Another thing to mention is my mom expressed interest in those small wireless speakers that seem popular nowadays as a way to fill the house with music. I think she'd like to have guests and entertain and be able to put the speakers in the living room and dining room (which are both right off the kitchen in a small house). So if I could get an XM radio that will be able to work with some wireless speakers, that would be great.

And lastly, the only other option I could think of was installing a sound system. Then the radio would be in the wall somewhere or out of the way. But tell me, getting something like that done would be crazy expensive, right?

Thanks all.
posted by peachpie to Technology (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I listen on the compuer.

You can get an app for the SmartPhone (you need an unlimited data plan though)

If she has a tablet or laptop, all you really need is a nice speaker for a device she already has and she can listen wherever.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:48 AM on December 3, 2013


My mom doesn't have a smart phone, nor a laptop, nor a tablet. And she doesn't like listening to music on her desktop computer. I want a dedicated radio for her kitchen, which I thought I made clear in my question and when I said no internet radio at the beginning. Sirius XM satellite radio please, not Sirius XM internet radio please.
posted by peachpie at 10:51 AM on December 3, 2013


Does your mom have internet access? I'd recommend a SONOS system and a Pandora account.
posted by matty at 10:54 AM on December 3, 2013


This looks like it might fit your needs. It's a portable unit with included speaker.
posted by BrianJ at 10:55 AM on December 3, 2013


Oh... just saw your clarification. Disregard!
posted by matty at 10:55 AM on December 3, 2013


I think one of the problems you're going to run into is antenna placement. Unless you're in a place where they have terrestrial repeaters, you need the antenna to be in a place where it has a clear view of the sky, in the direction where the satellite is. On all of the home SXM radios I've had, the antenna is a separate piece that you can move around, but it adds clutter, and you still need to have the radio in a part of the house close enough to get the antenna in a good spot.

You can get an AV receiver with SXM support (and also with streaming support that wouldn't require a computer or smartphone to control), but yes, it's going to be fairly expensive, and you still need to get the antenna placed if you don't want to use the streaming part. And multi-room is going to cost you more. The easiest way to get multi room audio really is Sonos, but it sounds like that won't work for you.
posted by primethyme at 10:57 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


My mom doesn't like to do stuff on the internet or the computer. She is old-fashioned. I try to teach her as much as I can but she struggles and prefers old-school ways of doing things. Please no more internet radio or computer radio suggestions. Thank you.
posted by peachpie at 11:00 AM on December 3, 2013


I'm pretty sure that this is it for satellite radios these days. They used to make things that looked more like actual radios, but if I remember correctly setting up the antenna was/is a pain, which is why siriusxm is really pushing the internet for home use. Would a streaming internet radio meet your mom's needs? It's not like listening on a computer -- they're extremely easy to use, much like an old school radio -- and Logitech, for example, makes one with a rechargeable battery that can be carted nicely around the house, and has presets.
posted by JanetLand at 11:00 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why not the Sirius Edge Dock? Am I completely missing the point?

Would you consider something like this? It has "internet radio" which means things like Pandora, Sirius and other services. However, most of these devices require Wifi.
posted by barnone at 11:09 AM on December 3, 2013


I looked at Sirius' website, but all of the radios are really big. The only one that looked kinda decent (it was sleek and thin) was sold out last time I checked and not on the site anymore.

I just want something that is a dedicated radio that sits in one spot. Like the cabinet radio she has now -- that's its spot and that's what it's for. She will never use something that requires the computer to be on. Not to mention the fact that it would honestly involve upgrading her computer to do something like that anyway, which seems silly. I really just wanted something that works like an AM-FM radio, as it does in her car.

A wifi device connecting to her computer is not going to work.
posted by peachpie at 11:10 AM on December 3, 2013


We have a speaker dock similar to this one in our kitchen, sitting on one of these little picture shelves, which is mounted up high, through the sheetrock and into the wall studs. The stud mount is probably overkill because the dock + radio unit is very light but I have cats that want to sit everywhere. I ran an extension antenna cable through a cable channel painted the same color as the wall and mounted the doohickey on the end up in the corner of the kitchen window where it's hidden by the window covering.

I like this setup because the dock still allows us to take the radio itself along on road trips.
posted by jamaro at 11:15 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Sirius Portable Dock is not that big. You could put it on a small shelf.

I'm assuming anything requiring wifi is out? Once it's set up, she obviously wouldn't need to use her computer, but it seems like you don't want anything requiring wifi -- just to clarify.
posted by barnone at 11:15 AM on December 3, 2013


I have a Tivoli Model Satellite and love it. It doesn't mount under the counter, but it's compact, sounds awesome, and does what you're looking for. I think it's been discontinued, but you may be able to find a NOS or used one.
posted by brand-gnu at 11:29 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


The XM stuff seems to have been pretty well covered, but for this:

Another thing to mention is my mom expressed interest in those small wireless speakers that seem popular nowadays as a way to fill the house with music. I think she'd like to have guests and entertain and be able to put the speakers in the living room and dining room (which are both right off the kitchen in a small house). So if I could get an XM radio that will be able to work with some wireless speakers, that would be great.

...we've been very happy with this bluetooth speaker. If you can find a dock or somesuch that will support it, you should be in good shape. Runs off AC and has built-in batteries so you can unplug it and carry it around to different rooms, outside, etc.
posted by jquinby at 11:30 AM on December 3, 2013


The reason you're having trouble is that the vast majority of satellite radio users listen in their car, with the radio that was included with their car. The market for third-party radios isn't very big, and the market for third-party in-home radios is even smaller. Then add on the layer that most people who are savvy enough to want satellite radio also probably have a smartphone and can stream the internet version, and I'd bet they sell very few of those things at all these days. So the selection just isn't going to be great. But it is what it is, so if that's what you need, you have your options in front of you...
posted by primethyme at 11:30 AM on December 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Then add on the layer that most people who are savvy enough to want satellite radio also probably have a smartphone and can stream the internet version, and I'd bet they sell very few of those things at all these days.

Plus, most people who are savvy enough to want satellite radio probably have wifi. There are very few people who would want Sirius alone, without other streaming radio (beyond AM/FM), who don't already have wifi.

Tivoli speakers are awesome - I was looking for that satellite model for you but saw it was discontinued. If you can find a used or discounted version it might work well for your needs.
posted by barnone at 12:05 PM on December 3, 2013


There's some kind of home kit for every radio they sell. None of them are the under-cabinet rig you're wanting, but they do more or less what you want. There's only the 3-4 to choose from, though.

Home Depot/IKEA/Container Store should be able to provide shelving options so that you can mount it on/under a cabinet, on the wall, on the fridge, whatever works in her kitchen.

(I have a radio so old there are cave paintings of it, and it sits in a boombox the size of a small microwave, but all of this is up on a tall wire shelf up against a window and I control it with the remote.)
posted by Lyn Never at 12:05 PM on December 3, 2013


Does anyone know if I buy one of their tabletop radios with a home kit (like this) if hooking up wireless speakers is an option. I do everything from my computer, including listen to music, so I'm not sure what sorts of specific requirements the audio system would need to be able to use some small, affordable wireless speakers. (I guess according to the "support" tab on the item's page, I'd hook the satellite radio up to some sort of base unit that would then feed audio to the wireless speakers?

I'll try to find the Tivoli player, as it looks nice. Although Sirius may sell even smaller units that I could consider if they will do what I want them to do. I will look. Tabletop players seems to be my only option, and there aren't many models.

Thanks for the help, those who did help with my limitations.
posted by peachpie at 12:12 PM on December 3, 2013


Peachie, The home kit is really the only option. They come with an indoor/outdoor antennae that should have a long enough cable to reach a Northwesterly pointing window.That and a good AM/FM radio with an AUX input. I use a Tivoli model 1. Also you'll need to call customer service and add the 2nd radio to her Sirius XM account.
posted by Gungho at 1:51 PM on December 3, 2013


The TTR1 accesses SiriusXM over Wi-Fi, but doesn't require a computer. It might work well for your needs. It's discontinued but available new here.
posted by iamscott at 6:24 PM on December 3, 2013


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