- 1 Top 3 Satellite Radio For Home Compared
- 2 Satellite Home Radio Buying Guide
To help you find the best satellite radio for your home, we’ve combed through dozens of products, testing their features and sound quality, coming up with a list of our three favorite models. During our testing, we looked for products that truly shined in a home environment, favoring units that boasted fantastic signal strength and professional-grade sound. We also wanted products that allowed access to SiriusXM and their library of content, though that wasn’t a dealbreaker. Aside from that, we advocated for products with unique sets of features, like access to longwave and shortwave radio signals and the ability to connect to smartphones via Bluetooth.
Of these three satellite home radios, the Grace Digital Mondo+ was truly the belle of the ball, offering simple integration with SiriusXM, full Bluetooth capabilities and a gorgeous 3.5” color display, among other features. Keep on reading to learn more about the best satellite radio Mondo+ and the other satellite home radios on this list.
Top 3 Satellite Radio For Home Compared
#1 Grace Digital Mondo+ – Top Pick/Best FeaturesWHY WE LIKE IT: The Grace Digital Mondo+ is the most feature packed radio on this list, not only offering access to SiriusXM’s satellite stream, but full Bluetooth functionality and built-in WiFi, which can be used to reach content providers like Pandora and iHeartRadio. It also sounds great, filling our testing room with a rich, warm sound that must be heard to be appreciated.
The Grace Digital Mondo+ is much more than just a satellite home radio, though it does, obviously, excel at listening to SiriusXM stations. It’s more of an all-in-one unit that can listen to just about anything you throw at it. It streams from your phone, computer or tablet, via Bluetooth. It connects directly to your WiFi router, allowing native support for dozens of streaming platforms, such as Amazon Prime and Spotify, and smart devices like Google Home. About the only thing it can’t do is play standard AM/FM radio.
The 3.5” full color display is also a treat. It’s bright, with a pleasing contrast, delivering vital information on what you are listening to from across the room, if need be. The radio can even be made portable, with the purchase of an external battery, allowing you to move it throughout the house or to your next backyard gathering. We got more than a dozen hours on a single charge. The best internet radio also has a lot to offer.
#2 SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus Satellite Radio – Honorable Mention/Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: The SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus is the perfect device for consumers looking for an easy and convenient way to listen to SiriusXM in the home. It’s simple to hook up to your home stereo and can even double as a car player, once you purchase the vehicle install kit.
The SiriusXM SXPL1H1 Onyx Plus is a marvel of design, with installation limited to hooking the home kit docking station to a set of powered speakers or your home stereo. Once that’s done, the unit is plug-and-play. You can slide the radio in and out of the docking station with ease, allowing it to travel to other docking stations, even cars, with all of your settings left intact. The front panel features a large color screen and a series of analog buttons, ideal for accessing up to 20 presets and pausing, rewinding and fast forwarding satellite feeds. Moreover, the build quality is high and the product even offers the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward satellite streams on command.
Of course, this is a device exclusively for listening to SiriusXM broadcasts and archived content. There is nothing by way of Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you cannot stream music and podcasts from your phone to this device. Still, this radio is truly a fantastic deal, made even more so by the free three month “All Access” SiriusXM subscription that comes packed in. I would love to hear the best floor standing speakers with this radio.
#3 Eton Executive Satellit Radio – Best Value/Most PortableWHY WE LIKE IT: The Eton Executive Satellit Radio is both functional and unique, offering a suite of features that will appeal to niche enthusiasts of off-the-beaten-path programming. It’s light, 1.85 pounds, and battery powered, making this a true portable product.
The Eton Executive Satellit Radio captures every radio wavelength in existence, and we truly mean every single one. Not only does it broadcast AM/FM, it can access shortwave and longwave broadcasts, the VHF aircraft band, the Single Sideband (SSB) and even includes a PLL tuner to boost the AM signal, which we found dramatically increased the fidelity of AM broadcasts. The radio also boasts the ability to store a massive 700 presets, far and above any other product on this list. Simply put, we had a blast listening to radio broadcasts from around the world. It even picked up several local FM stations that our other radios skipped right by. This might be a good time to read 10 of the best Bluetooth speakers.
This is a beautifully designed, though niche, product, for those of you looking for a more interactive radio experience – it even comes with an exquisitely designed leather carrying case that complements the radio’s minimalist aesthetic. Look at it as the modern equivalent of those old shortwave radios folks used to tinker with in their basements. As such, it does not allow access to SiriusXM, though you may not even notice, as it does access thousands of international stations, the only product on this list to do so. The best smart speaker will also work great with this setup, as well as the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers.
How We Decided
There are a whole lot of satellite home radios on the market. In order to narrow down to the above list, we focused on ease of use, sound and build quality and unique features. One product, Grace Digital’s Mondo+, is a fantastic all-around device, offering up a myriad of ways to access content. SiriusXM’s radio is simply a perfectly priced entrance point to the world of satellite radio, with a home installation that took us, quite literally, seconds. The Eton Executive Satellit sacrifices access to SiriusXM, but makes up for it with a suite of unique features that made our heads spin. Listening to longwave, shortwave and VHF aircraft signals on it was a heck of a lot of fun.
There was also price to consider. None of the above products will set you back too much, with the SiriusXM Onyx being the lowest priced of the bunch. We also liked the fact that each product could, within reason, be easily moved throughout the house or, in two cases, offered actual portability.
Satellite Home Radio Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Sound Quality
Satellite home radios are for the listening of music and the spoken word. As such, you want them to sound good. Some products, like the Grace Digital Mondo+, have a built-in professional-grade speaker, while still allowing for a connection to a home stereo unit. Others, like the SiriusXM Onyx have no built-in speaker, requiring a home stereo or pair of powered speakers in order to function. At the end of the day, home stereo units will offer a richer, fuller sound, but radios with built-in speakers could be a good option for a bedroom or small living space.
- Bluetooth, SiriusXM and AM/FM
It’s important to consider just what you plan on doing with your satellite home radio. Are you interested in listening to SiriusXM, and SiriusXM only? Then the company’s Onyx will be your best bet, offering fantastic bang for the buck. Are you a smartphone power user, hoping to stream your favorite content from apps like Spotify and Amazon Prime? The Grace Digital Mondo+, and similar products, will have you covered. Do you want to have fun listening to bizarre international radio shows and civil aviation broadcasts? Then something with access to shortwave, AM/FM and VHF signals, like the Eton Executive Satellit, is your best bet.
- The Display is an Information Portal
Not all satellite radios have displays, but those that do perform double duty. They act as an information portal, letting you know exactly what you are listening to, usually via a station logo or album cover photo. They also help with navigation and setup. We found the big, colorful display of the Grace Digital Mondo+ was a boon in helping us access every function of the device.
Satellite Radio for Home FAQs
Is SiriusXM the only true satellite content provider?
Yes. The market used to support two major content providers, Sirius and XM, but the pair combined their assets in 2008. More recently, SiriusXM bought streaming service Pandora, bringing them into the fold.
How much does SiriusXM cost?
SiriusXM is a subscription service, offering a variety of price options, depending on what you are looking for. The base package, which includes around 50 stations, is $9.99 per month, with each additional station on top of that costing around a quarter. Plans max out at $17.99 per month, no matter how many stations you’ve selected. This is, of course, subject to change.
Can I use my SiriusXM subscription across multiple radios?
Yes, though there are some restrictions. The company does allow multiple radios to stream from the same account, which is perfect for large families with a variety of streaming needs.
What is shortwave and longwave radio?
Shortwave radio is a transmission that uses shortwave radio frequencies, with a range that includes most of the frequency band. The upside to shortwave radio is that these signals can travel vast distances, allowing for easy listening of international broadcasts. Longwave radio, on the other hand, is a transmission that uses longwave radio frequencies, which usually rest below the AM band, where normal AM/FM radios cannot access. Longwave bands are not typically impeded by geographic disturbances, such as large mountain ranges, and quite literally travel the contours of the Earth. As such, longwave radio is also perfect for listening to obscure international broadcasts.
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