Sirius xm car antennas

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What Is a Satellite Radio Antenna?

In order to receive satellite radio, you need a special antenna. Your standard car radio antenna won't cut it because, unlike FM radio and HD radio, satellite radio and FM radio aren't broadcast on the same frequency bands. This is why you don't need a special HD radio antenna to listen to HD radio stations, but you do need a special satellite radio antenna for your satellite radio receiver to work.

Satellite radio, unlike satellite television, doesn't make use of dishes, so you don't need to install a dish on your car. The main reason is bandwidth, but suffice it to say that satellite radio uses small, non-directional antennas that are similar to many satellite phones you may have seen.

Why You Need a Satellite Radio Antenna

Both terrestrial radio and satellite radio use omnidirectional antennas, which can be contrasted with the directional antennas used by satellite television services. However, your existing car antenna that's designed to receive AM and FM signals isn't capable of receiving satellite radio transmissions.

The issue is that the FM broadcast band occupies part of the very high frequency (VHF) radio spectrum, the AM band utilizes part of the medium frequency (MF) band, and satellite radio occupies the ​S-band.

Although there are slight variations between different countries and regions, the North American bands are:

  • AM radio: kHz to kHz
  • FM radio: to MHz
  • Satellite radio: to GHz

The other reason why you can't receive satellite radio over a traditional car radio antenna is that the connectors are different. Even if you wanted to plug a regular antenna into a satellite receiver, you wouldn't be able to. Regular car radio antennas use Motorolla plugs, also referred to as DIN , while satellite radio antennas use SMB connectors.

Since satellite radio receivers use a special type of connector, it's important to buy an antenna that's specifically designed for satellite radio. Even then, some satellite radio antennas require an adapter.

Why Satellite Radio Doesn't Use Dishes

First of all, it's important to understand that a satellite dish is actually just a specialized type of antenna. They're referred to as directional antennas because they're designed to receive signals in a cone that projects outward from the edges of the dish, which is why you have to aim a satellite dish at a particular portion of the sky for it to work.

The main benefit of a directional antenna is that it's capable of receiving a greater amount of information from a weaker signal than an omnidirectional antenna. In that same vein, directional antennas can actually receive weak television and radio signals in remote areas, distant Wi-Fi signals, and other types of weak or distant signals.

As to why satellite radio uses omnidirectional antennas and satellite television uses dishes, it really comes down to the amount of information that's transmitted for the different services.

The fact is that audio transmissions take up less bandwidth than television transmissions that include both an audio and video component. So while satellite television providers could use omnidirectional antennas, they wouldn't be able to offer very many channels.

With lower bandwidth requirements, satellite radio is free to rely on omnidirectional antennas that are much easier to use in mobile applications like cars.

Installing a Satellite Radio Antenna

Since satellite radio antennas are omnidirectional, you don't have to worry about pointing them in any particular direction. However, it's important to position a satellite radio antenna so that it has an unimpeded view of the sky. It's just as vital to choose a location where it won't receive any sort of interference.

If you drive a vehicle with a hardtop, the antenna should be installed:

  • Near the front or rear of the roof.
  • Three inches or more from the edge of the roof.
  • Three inches or more away from other antennas.
  • Somewhere that a roof rack (or another similar accessory) won't block the sky.

If you drive a convertible, you can't mount a satellite antenna on the roof. In that case, you want to install it:

  • On the trunk near the base of the windshield.
  • On the hood near the back edge.
  • Three inches or more from the edge of the hood or trunk.

Places to Avoid When Installing a Satellite Antenna

If you're still having trouble figuring out where to put your satellite antenna, make sure to avoid these locations:

  • Inside the vehicle: Placing a satellite antenna inside your vehicle makes it more difficult to receive satellite signals. Even if it's near a window, the reception can suffer and may not work at all.
  • Close to metal objects: Always keep the antenna more than three inches from antennas, roof racks, and other accessories. Placing it near these objects may subject it to interference.
  • On an a, b, or c pillar: These are the pillars that separate the windshield from the front windows, the front windows from the back windows, and the back windows from the rear windows. You need to place the antenna on a horizontal surface to orient it correctly to the sky, so these pillars are off-limits.

FAQ

  • If you're having trouble getting a signal, make sure nothing is blocking the antenna's view or that you're not in an underground area like a parking garage or tunnel. If the antenna is not detected, make sure it's firmly plugged into its cradle. If you're not getting audio while listening to FM radio, check if your XM radio and car radio are on the same frequency.

  • You can pick up a satellite radio antenna for around $20 from retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

  • A satellite radio antenna signal combiner can increase signal strength by combining the output of two antennas into one. Antenna location is also important for a good signal. The higher the antenna, the clearer the signal.

  • Since the antenna needs to be outside your vehicle to have a clear, unobstructed view of the sky to function properly, it's not possible to hide the antenna without compromising signal quality.

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Top 10 Best Siriusxm Antennas

Top 10 Best Siriusxm Antennas

2. SiriusXM NGVA3 Satellite Radio Vehicle Antenna

  • Low profile, small size and approximately feet of cable allows the antenna to be placed almost anywhere on the vehicle to ensure optimal signal reception
  • Includes ngva3 magnetic mount vehicle antenna and installation guide
  • Mounts on most metal vehicle surfaces and has rubber feet to prevent scratching
  • Compatible with all radios and docks that work on the sirius and xm networks with push on style, single input antenna connector
  • Replacement magnetic vehicle mount antenna for siriusxm, xm and sirius radios and vehicle docks

3. SiriusXM NGHA1 Antenna Mount for Your Home

  • Compatible with all satellite radios and docks that work on the sirius and xm networks with push on style, single input antenna connectors.
  • Small making easily concealed
  • Home antenna with hinged base and approximately feet of cable to place and aim for best signal reception.
  • Includes ngha1 indoor/outdoor home antenna and installation guide
  • Replacement home antenna for siriusxm, xm and sirius radios and home docks

4. XM Radio Universal Home Antenna

  • Universally compatible with all xm sirius satellite radios
  • Works with all sirius satellite radios
  • Straight-end antenna connector
  • Works with all xm boomboxes

5. SiriusXM NGVA1 Magnetic Antenna Mount for Your Vehicle

  • Low profile, small size and approximately feet of cable allows the antenna to be placed almost anywhere on the vehicle to ensure optimal signal reception
  • Includes ngva1 magnetic mount vehicle antenna and installation guide
  • Mounts on most metal vehicle surfaces and has rubber feet to prevent scratching
  • Compatible with all radios and docks that work on the sirius and xm networks with push on style, single input antenna connector
  • Replacement magnetic vehicle mount antenna for siriusxm, xm and sirius radios and vehicle docks

7. SiriusXM Satellite Radio Replacement Tuner Only SXV No Antenna

  • Works only with in-dash receivers with the siriusxm-ready logo
  • Pause, rewind, and replay up to 60 minutes of live satellite radio broadcasts
  • Siriusxm vehicle connection package includes hideaway tuner only no antenna
  • Enjoy siriusxm advanced features like tunemix and sportsflash with select new compatible car stereos
  • Get game, song, and artist alerts

9. SiriusXM SXVv1 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit for Satellite Radio with Free 3 Months Satellite and Streaming Service

  • Siriusxm connect satellite radio vehicle tuner
  • Owner&#;s manual
  • Pauses, rewinds and replays up to 60 minutes of live satellite radio, car radio tuner automatically starts songs from the beginning on favorite channels with tunestart, keep moving with the most current updates using traffic &#; weather now
  • Hear exclusive entertainment only available on siriusxm like howard stern, today show radio, fox news, cnn and kidz bop radio. plus live play-by-play sports from the nfl, mlb, nba, nhl, the best games in college sports and nascar races.
  • Includes sxv tuner and magnetic-mount antenna
  • Pauses, rewinds and replays up to 60 minutes of live satellite radio, car radio tuner automatically starts songs from the beginning on favorite channels with tunestart, keep moving with the most current updates using traffic &#; weather now

SiriusXM SXDV3 Satellite Radio Vehicle Mounting Kit with Dock and Charging Cable (Black)

  • Compatible with sirusxm, xm and sirius dock &#; play radios working on either the xm or sirius network. complete vehicle kit compatible with all sirius dock-and-play radios with universal docking capability
  • Move your dock &#; play radio from another location to listen in your vehicle with one subscription
  • Included components: computer cable adapters
  • Compatible with onyx plus, onyx ez, onyx, edge, stratus 7, 6, 5, stratus, sportster 5,starmate 8, 5, 4, 3, xpressrci, xpressrc, xpressr

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How to Install Your SiriusXM Radio: 3.0 Antenna Installation

Sirius Antenna Mounted on a WindshieldThere are a lot of Sirius XM car antennas being sold.  All are not the same.   There are wide variation in the quality of signal reception and durability.  You might think that Sirius XM are the only ones making antennas for their radios but there are several other manufacturers that make these even better than Sirius XM themselves.

There are a few factors that you need to consider prior to selecting your antenna.  The most important decision is where you would like to place the antenna.  The antenna that comes with the Sirius XM car kit is typically a small two-inch square with a magnet on the bottom.  It comes with a roughly foot cable and we find most do the obvious thing which is to put it on your roof and run the wire to the radio somewhere in the center of your console.  If you never have a passenger, this may work well.  If you have a passenger, consider mounting the antenna inside your car.  We wrote an in-depth article on this topic which you can read here.

Most Sirius XM owners can use the standard everyday Sirius XM Magnetic Car Antenna.  This is one of your everyday Sirius XM car antennas.  It&#;s is a good antenna that isn&#;t too large.  As previously mentioned, a lot will simply use the magnetic bottom to adhere it to the rook.  Some will use an antenna mount.  Others will actually snake the antenna wire through the interior lining of the car to hide most of the cable.

Pictured in the photo that accompanies this article we have the Car Windshield Suction Cup Antenna Mount for Sirius / XM Radio.  Works with most Sirius XM car antennas.  I always worry about taking apart the interior lining for fear I cannot get it back together properly.  I recently saw a guy driving down Route 3 in New Jersey with his windows open and the interior lining from the roof was loose and hitting him in the head.  I wondered to myself if he tried to snake the antenna cable and didn&#;t tuck it in right.  The antenna adheres to the mounting plate using included metal strips.  The stock antenna has magnets embedded within so it will stick to this mount just like the top of your car.  Genius.

If you are real serious about your satellite radio and don&#;t mind an antenna that&#;s a bit large, the Tram Mirror Mounted Sirius Antenna might be what you are looking for.  Really not a bad design, and it&#;s typically used for trucks and rigs but can work on a car.  These antennas have high performance features for certain XM satellites and comes equipped with a very thick coax cable.  These clamp to the large mirror on the side of a truck.  When it comes to Sirius XM car antennas, this is one of the largest and most heavy-duty.

Another unique antenna is one that attaches to the outside of the windshield is the Sirius XM Satellite Radio Glass Mount Antenna.  This antenna kit uses a combination of silicone and magnets to get the signal to the inside of your car.  Most use it on the rear windshield so it will require a significant amount of wiring in terms of hiding the length from the front of the vehicle to the back.  It&#;s a unique design and in my opinion beats the look of the magnetic antenna on the roof but as previously stated requires some creative players of the &#;hide the cable&#; game.

Lastly, take a look at the  Shakespeare Ultra Low Profile Sirius Marine Antenna.  It&#;s normally used on a boat.  This one can be mounted on your dash or anywhere on the car.  Be aware that you would need to drill a hole to run the antenna wire through.  Some don&#;t mind doing this in the name of a clean installation look but do think about how someone may react to this when you go to sell your car years from now.

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Xm car antennas sirius

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How to keep your Factory Toyota SiriusXM and GPS antennas

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