Best Satellite Radios: Top Aftermarket Receivers

Access the best satellite radio stations with these top receivers

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Satellite radio has been a popular choice among drivers for years. It has hundreds of available channels without commercials breaks and features some of the most popular artists. Unfortunately, many factory radios in our vehicles don't allow access to SiriusXM channels. To get around this, we’ve compiled the best aftermarket satellite radio receivers available today. 

  • Best Overall
    JVC KW Satellite Radio Receiver
    Summary
    Summary
    The JVC satellite radio receiver is the most capable in-dash unit that manages to be both stylish and comprehensive.
    Pros
    Pros
    This head unit is capable of playing AM, FM, and XM radios. It has built-in Bluetooth, a removable faceplate, and three different customizable color areas in its display.
    Cons
    Cons
    The JVC radio is the most expensive option, and Android phones have to use the JVC app to connect via Bluetooth.
  • Best Value
    SiriusXM Onyx Plus Satellite Radio
    Summary
    Summary
    When it comes to using SiriusXM, no other device is capable of seamless integration like this satellite radio made by Sirius.
    Pros
    Pros
    The SiriusXM Onyx has a touchscreen display, allows you to store 20 of your favorite channels to rewind and replay, and comes with a free three-month trial to SiriusXM.
    Cons
    Cons
    The Onyx Plus is not a replacement radio, so it doesn't play AM/FM and does not have Bluetooth connectivity. It is also not an in-dash receiver.
  • Honorable Mention
    Sony DSXA415BT Digital Media Receiver
    Summary
    Summary
    Another in-dash satellite radio is this one from Sony, which is the best option if phone compatibility is important.
    Pros
    Pros
    This satellite radio can play AM, FM, and XM. It is fully compatible with iOS and Android devices through Bluetooth connection, and it has a built-in voice control feature.
    Cons
    Cons
    This stereo has the most basic screen compared to others on this list and has poor bass controls on speaker systems.

Tips

  • Consider what type of satellite receiver you want. If you have an outdated stereo in your car, replacing the whole thing with a new head unit can be beneficial. If you just want to add satellite capabilities, a receiver or dock-and-play model might be a better choice. 
  • If you're buying a full in-dash satellite radio receiver, pay attention to the power needs of your new radio. Some stereos draw a lot of power, and you could risk straining your car's battery. 
  • Replacing a factory radio includes connecting your speakers. Large speaker systems require a certain amount of power output, so make sure your vehicle battery and head unit are compatible. 
  • Some new cars come with satellite radio capability, but it might not be easily accessible since they’re not made to work with XM. Opting for a satellite radio receiver made by SiriusXM can make using your XM account much simpler. 

FAQs

Q: What is satellite radio?

A: Satellite radio works similarly to your regular car radio: There are multiple music stations with different hosts and genres of music. However, you have to pay a monthly fee for access to the stations.

Q: Is satellite radio a better option?

A: When comparing satellite radio to FM radio, the big thing to consider is whether a monthly fee is worth the benefit of not having commercials. You can also compare XM radio to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. SiriusXM typically costs less and has added features like personal playlists to compete with music streaming services. 

Q: What is the difference between Sirius and XM?

A: Originally, Sirius radio and XM radio were two different satellite services. However, the companies merged to become SiriusXM.

Final Thoughts

For top satellite radio, the JVC KW Satellite Radio Receiver is your best choice. It's a fashionable and versatile in-dash option for getting SiriusXM channels. 

A less expensive option is the SiriusXM Onyx Plus Satellite Radio, which features easy controls and the best display.