The software interface, which is the only way to control the receiver, provided a number of nice options which are worth checking out. One feature, favorite artist alert, pops up a window to tell you when, say, Garth Brooks is on the country channel banging out his latest tune. You can also set custom channel lists, so you dont have to scroll through the over 100 stations to find the one you want. Perhaps the coolest feature though is the real time display the channel listings provide, which shows the current artist and song title playing and makes choosing between the Bee Gees and Snoop Dogg all that much easier. One thing which was lacking was volume control, which forces you to have to fiddle with the speaker dials or Windows volume panel.
The sound quality for the XM PCR was impressive for the most part. It was stereo, with little interference and no hissing like regular radio. The only thing which could be a factor would be antenna placement, which is addressed below.
As mentioned during setup, antenna placement can be tricky. Claims by XM for the receiver to be able to pick up signals in an indoor environment were mixed, with placement closer to a window or outdoor setting providing stronger results. Signal strength, even in an ideal location, would sometimes drop altogether, though this may be more related to weather or other conditions which commonly plague users of satellite technologies.
- MSRP: $49.95
- Dimensions: 5.12 in W x 1.34 H x 4.76 in D (130mm x 34 mm x 121mm)
- Weight: 6.8 oz (193 g)
- Antenna: RF SMB connector
- Audio Output: 3.5 mm diameter ministereo jack
- Computer: USB 1.0