Cheapest satellite radio receiver?
November 1, 2007 8:36 AM   Subscribe

What is the cheapest model of satellite radio receiver I can purchase for my car with these requirements:

- XM or Sirius, don't care
- must have some kind of display
- must have a way to connect through AUX jack on my current head unit
- must have as unobtrusive an antenna as possible
- must be easily installed by user
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also, my head unit says "sirius-ready," whatever that means.

Add'l requirement: I would like to keep my current head unit. Car is a 2005 corrolla.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:46 AM on November 1, 2007

Best answer: Sirius-ready means you can just buy a tuner for $50, and it uses your head-unit for the display.
posted by smackfu at 9:22 AM on November 1, 2007

The XM ExpressEZ is under $40, small unit with a very small antenna. Installation is very easy, its just a matter of routing the antenna wire through the car to the roof or trunk (but you'll have to do that with an add-on unit or additional tuner for your Sirius ready radio). You can actually use the antenna inside the front or rear windshield, but you are more subject to dropouts from overhead covering (bridges and such)
posted by shinynewnick at 9:29 AM on November 1, 2007

On preview, the tuner will be the cleanest, but most difficult install for DIY. Pretty much all units will be able to plug into the AUX directly, XM or Sirius.
posted by shinynewnick at 9:33 AM on November 1, 2007

And for my third answer, here's a larger XM unit with a 30 minute live buffer and larger screen for $40 (after $20 rebate)
posted by shinynewnick at 9:49 AM on November 1, 2007

Seconding the add-on unit. If you were to add the add-on tuner as smackfu suggested, it will keep your AUX jack clear for any other device; ie. ipod, mp3 player, etc. Satellite units ususally plug into the same place an external cd changer plugs into. Installing an add-on tuner is not that difficult. Instructions are pretty straight forward. It involves sliding the head unit out; tucking the tuner in behind (it fit in my notoriously small jeep dash); plugging it into the head unit; and usually clipping on a power wire.
As for the antenna, I've always adheared mine inside the car to the top of the dash (where it meets the windshield) with a bit of double-stick tape. I've never had any problems with it.
In the long run, even if you spend a couple more dollars and a few more minutes installing, I think you will be more happy with the add-on as opposed to a standalone unit.
posted by enobeet at 9:49 AM on November 1, 2007

thirding the add-on tuner. I've used both setups and it's a lot cleaner having everything controlled by the head unit.
posted by PFL at 2:36 PM on November 1, 2007

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