SiriusXM Wi-Fi Portable Radio
Annie Oh rates this 3.5/5
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SiriusXM Wi Fi Portable Radio Review From: SiriusXM

Pros
Allows you to listen to Internet radio anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection. It's small and compact.

Cons
Service is spotty; must have an active subscription.

Verdict
Although it has a few problems, it's still an excellent portable radio device.

Is the SiriusXM Wi-Fi Portable Radio Worth the Hype?

Although it's one of SiriusXM's most expensive models ($249.99), the SiriusXM Wi-Fi Portable Radio isn't your typical vehicle radio--in fact, it's not a vehicle radio at all. Here's what it is: A portable radio device that also doubles as an MP3 player for quality Internet radio listening on-the-go. A new slew of features make this a must buy product. Here is my review.


Design

Out of all of the SiriusXM models out today, this one is the most innovative, hosting more features and options than ever before but being the smallest device around (it's even less bulky than SiriusXM's tabletop radio). Size-wise, it's about the size of a palm, measuring at 4.4 inches by 2.5 inches; it's also surprisingly light at around 5 ounces. Unlike previous SiriusXM models, this model also contains a touchscreen for navigating menus, which also allows you to stop, skip back, or skip forward to content. As always, this device also allows you to save your favorite stations and assign them to one-touch buttons; this model expands on that, featuring 25 presets instead of the usual 10.


Visually, the SiriusXM Wi-Fi Portable Radio is a breeze to use. The LCD screen helps keep colors vivid and sharp; text is sharp and crisp, making it easy to read. Station logos are displayed neatly on the sides and bottom of the screen, and in some cases, you'll be able to view album art and artist bios of certain songs. Some of the menu controls err on the small side, but respond quickly; they aren't a big problem here. Overall, the design is sleek and lightweight, but that is to be expected from a SiriusXM radio.


Features

Feature-wise, the SiriusXM Wi-Fi Portable Radio is packed full of them--from MP3 capabilities to Tune Start, this radio easily rivals other popular mp3 players, such as the iPod. Here are just some of its features:

  • Pause, rewind, and replay mode--for replaying content you may have missed. You can also use TuneStart, a feature that allows you to replay songs from the start--even if it's in mid-play when you tune in.
  • You can import your own MP3s via microSD card, allowing this radio to also function as an MP3 player. MP3 content is stored in its own library for easy access.
  • ShowFinder allows you to find out when shows are scheduled to play. So, for instance, if you want to tune into a talk show but don't know when it's going to play, you can use ShowFinder to do the work for you. It will also alert you when the show starts so you won't have to remember the time yourself.
  • Built-in Bluetooth. With this feature, you'll be able to stream programming from the device to another compatible device, such as a home dock or car stereo. This allows you to play the Internet radio on your stereo or home dock without having to buy a separate Internet radio device.

Keep in mind these features only work if you're connected to a local Wi-Fi connection; this radio is one of the few devices that relies on it to run properly.


Issues

Again, it seems like no SiriusXM device is free from connectivity problems, and this certainly is the case here. Connectivity problems are occur often, especially when not closely connected to a Wi-Fi connection--making it useless on bus or car rides, when it is impossible to connect via Wi-Fi. In addition, you also need to have an active SiriusXM subscription, which isn't free--and the fees can add up.


Customer Reviews
"Nice unit. works fine . I am glad I made the purchase . Have had it a couple weeks now." - Tazz
"I just bought the SiriusXM Lynx and it absolutely rocks! Between the easy touchscreen interface, the radios ability to rewind, pause, go back 5 hours in time, and it's ability to listen to one song while viewing what's currently playing on EVERY other station is awesome. Not to mention the bread & butter of satellite radio which is commercial free music segmented by genre, decades, style, etc, while being hosted by real DJ's who pull out songs you've long forgotten and/or new songs you never new were out there." - SG
Pros
  • Allows you to listen to Internet radio anywhere
  • Small and compact
  • Option of uploading your own MP3 files via microSD card

Cons
  • Service can be spotty
  • Must be connected to Wi-Fi to use
  • Must have an active SiriusXM subscription to use

Verdict

Although it's advertised as a portable device, it truly isn't--you need to be connected to Wi-Fi in order for it to work, and this really only occurs if you are at a place with Wi-Fi connectivity, such as your home or a coffee shop. Otherwise, it is a very innovative device with several playback and MP3 features.
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2012, 6:51 pm
Reviewed by Annie Oh
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