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Shopping for the best satellite radio for your car can be a difficult process. There are a myriad of models, offering access to different satellite services, with a variety of control inputs. We’ve taken the guesswork out of your search by installing and testing out a number of the best regarded products on the market, ruling out units that were difficult to set up and ones that offered a paltry amount of stations or features. A good satellite car radio can sometimes rival the best car stereo, so read on to see what these satellite radios have to offer.
Of the three satellite car radios on this list, the JVC KW-V25BT continually managed to impress. The product offered access to satellite radio leader SiriusXM, but also came out-of-the-box with functionality for Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio, not to mention Bluetooth. It also comes with a nifty feature called TuneStart, which allows you to rewind and pause content, making sure you never miss your favorite part of a song or radio show. Keep reading to discover more about this fantastic car radio which is the best satellite radio and the two other products that made the cut.
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: The JVC KW-V25BT is the best satellite car radio on this list, with instant access to all of your favorite content providers, including SiriusXM, and the ability to stream from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and even the ability to play video. It has a highly usable touchscreen, three built-in preamps to ensure sound quality, Bluetooth functionality and its the only product on this list to come with a backup camera.
The JVC KW-V25BT offers up fantastic sound quality, thanks to a trio of preamp outputs that easily connect to each side speaker and your subwoofer. We found installation to be fairly simple, requiring just a flathead screwdriver and some thoughtful following of the manual, though mileage may very depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
The unit also comes packed in with a CD player, USB port and SD card reader, making it easy to play just about any content you can throw at it, be it audio or video. That’s right, this thing can play movies, which is perfect for the backseat driver in your life. On that note,the touchscreen is surprisingly robust, allowing you to switch from the product’s different modes with barely a thought. As a matter of fact, we found the touchscreen to be of a higher quality than the analog volume buttons on the side, which were slightly finicky. Speaking of sound, the best car subwoofer is a great companion for your radio.
The radio also comes with a handy backup camera, the only product on this list to do so. We found the camera to be incredibly practical, helping us out of a few sticky situations while pulling out of busy parking lots.
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Sony DSXA415BT Digital Media Receiver is a nifty little satellite radio that combines Bluetooth functionality with NFC technology, meaning you can simply tap your phone on the volume knob to instigate a connection. It’s also fully voice activated, allowing for complete control over nearly aspect of its design just by saying a few words.
The Sony DSXA415BT Digital Media Receiver is certainly a no frills device, though it does offer full access to SiriusXM, along with instantaneous Bluetooth functionality. The unit features a space-saving face plate with room for six presets and some rudimentary EQ features, including a bass boost button. . This budget-friendly radio also offers a fantastic variety of voice control options, easily integrated with Siri or Google Assistant, which we found highly useful during our testing. If voice control isn’t your bag, the product comes shipped with a remote control.
Related: Upgrade your listening experience in your car with the best Bluetooth FM transmitter.
This a great device for fans of SiriusXM satellite radio or for consumers looking for a simple and convenient Bluetooth setup. The built-in 4×55 w amplification delivered clear audio playback, with plenty of volume and very low distortion. The single DIN design also makes it a great choice for those with limited dashboard space. Also, check out the Jensen 6.2 Inch LED Multimedia Touch Screen Double Din Car Stereo. Easily pair your Bluetooth devices with the head unit multimedia receiver so you can talk on the phone hands-free. There’s a designated Siri and Google Voice Assist button to activate your voice assistant, so you can easily play or replay music and podcasts, set up navigation, etc. Note that this product does not come with a specific vehicle installation kit. Another great accessory for your car is the best jump starter, which makes sure you can get where you are going.
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: The SiriusXM SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus Satellite Radio is the perfect device for those of you looking for a convenient and fuss-free way to listen to SiriusXM on the go. The Onyx is the easiest to install product on this list. Just mount it to the dash and plug it into your aux jack, follow some simple prompts on the color touchscreen and, voila, you are ready to go. Truly plug and play.
The SiriusXM SXPL1V1 Onyx Plus Satellite Radio dash mount design is such a game changer, and so easy, that we found ourselves swapping it out from vehicle to vehicle without a second thought, even bringing it indoors and to connect with a home stereo unit. The touchscreen is intuitive and the product offers plenty of presets, along with the option to pause, rewind and fast forward content with the press of a button. The best CB radio is also a great addition to your car.
Of course, this is a device exclusively for listening to SiriusXM broadcasts and archived content. It features no Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you cannot stream music and podcasts from your phone to this device. Still, this radio is truly a great deal, made even more so by the free three month “All Access” SiriusXM subscription that comes packed in. The SiriusXM SXEZR1V1 Onyx EZR Satellite Radio with Vehicle Kit is another version of the Onyx line. Pick from various programming packages to get commercial-free music, sports, news, talk radio, etc., and you can store up to 10 of your favorite channels. This XM radio does require an existing FM radio, and to activate the satellite receiver, you have to set up the device online or call a specific number. Note that you can’t rewind and replay on this device, but you can on other Onyx models.
There are almost as many satellite radios on the market as there are cars to put them in. To narrow down the list to the three above entrants, we instantly dismissed units that lacked access to market leader SiriusXM. We also wanted radios that could be installed easily in just a few minutes, ideally without the help of a professional.
There was also the price to consider. Not one of the items on this list will break the bank. We also wanted to make sure each product brought something unique to the table. The Onyx, for instance, offers an extremely easy install, while Sony’s radio is nearly fully voice controlled. Two of the three products on this list offer Bluetooth functionality, in addition to satellite radio, which means you would be hard pressed to run out of stuff to listen to on even the most grueling road trip.
There are also other options to consider. Our top pick contains a backup camera, for instance, which is fantastic for pulling out of tight spots. Some satellite radios offer voice control, remote control, CD players and various ports for external inputs, such as MP3 players and memory cards. Speaking of all these things, the best car alarm will help protect your car and belongings.